For three years, the USD 418 School District has been providing parents with a meal plan for their children over the summer by hosting the Fuel Up for Summer Fun.
“We recently started the summer program for the third year. It’s a program that we started first in conjunction with the Community Foundation and now we have continued to take it on full scale ourselves. It’s a great benefit to the community,” said Bill Froese, director of food and service and transportation of USD 418.
Fuel Up For Summer Fun begins May 29 and lasts through July 27. It offers a free breakfast and lunch for children ages 1 to 18.
“It’s for anybody and everybody. To give an example, if a family is traveling and needs to pull off the interstate, they can come in and eat if they have children. No matter their status, anyone can come. It’s not a program based on need, it’s for any child wanting to eat,” he said.
Families who work during the summer now have a safe place to send their children.
Sites include McPherson Middle School, Lincoln Elementary and now Roosevelt Elementary. They will serve breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. and for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Fridays.
“We’re adding a school this year by adding Roosevelt to give more access,” Froese noted.
This year, the program is adding more food items to their meals to make them resemble the school meals during the year.
“We have a few more options on the tray. Last year there weren’t as many choices and we’ll have a few more this year,” he said.
Children can walk, ride their bike or carpool with other parents if needed to get to those locations but Froese noted that transportation can be provided if necessary.
“Depending on the location, we did do some transportation last year and we may still do some last year but we’re doing less transportation this year since we opened up another site at Roosevelt to make it more accessible that way,” he said.
Froese wants to make it clear to the community that anyone is welcome to come, regardless of their situation.
“It’s a program for all children in the area. Even if you’re visiting grandma and grandpa for the summer; you’re welcome. We’ve got food for you,” he added.
Froese also added that no registration is needed for this program, however, adults have to pay a $2.50 fee for breakfast and a $4 fee for lunch.
“It’s one of those situations where the concern for the child is greater than the need to identify,” he said.
Parents will be able to text “Summer Meal” to 97779 to find out various locations throughout the country, as this is a nationwide program provided by the USDA.
For more information, call the USD 418 District Office at 620-241-6830.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.