By Lesli Mueller, Director of Child Nutrition
Summer is an exciting time for children to enjoy playing with friends, a week at camp, a family vacation, time at the pool or being a part of a summer team sport. School may be out but learning does not end, and neither does a child’s need for good nutrition. For the past few years Hutchinson Schools nutrition program has partnered with Common Cup and Hunger Free McLeod to make the Summer Feeding Program possible in our community. The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals to children during the summer funded by the USDA. Any child age 18 and under may come to eat a delicious healthy meal for free. There is no income requirements or registration. Children can eat as many days as the summer feeding program is in service.
Meals are served by school food service staff at two sites during lunch Monday–Friday, June 11–August 17, 2018. Excluding July 2-6 when there will be no meal service due to the holiday week. Hutchinson Middle School serves their lunch from 11:00 am-12:30 pm in the Commons area. Park Elementary serves their lunch from 11:30 am-12:30 pm in the Cafeteria. Parents and guardians are welcome and encouraged to eat with their children as an opportunity to have family time. An adult lunch is at the affordable price of $4.00 for a varied well balanced meal. Community groups and businesses volunteer and show their support of this wonderful program by assisting school food service with small duties in the cafeteria. Without their support the summer food program would not run as smooth towards being successful in serving kids and families.
Kids and teens will enjoy some of their school food favorites over the summer months. Menus include Taco in a Bag, Submarine Sandwich, Mini Corn Dogs and Cheesy Bread with Marinara sauce to name a few. The best part about all these menus we always include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and milk. All this nourishment gives kids energy to play and learn throughout their summer filled days. Working parents can be assured their children are getting a well-rounded meal that is not filled with empty calories like unhealthy snacks they may be eating instead. Children, their friends and families gathering to either feeding sites can benefit from the program in a variety of ways that adds to a strong community in Hutchinson.