The school year may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean that the work of our schools are done. The need for good nutrition through meals and snacks continues throughout the summer for our children and for some, healthy and nutritious meals are not easy to come by.
The Summer Food Service Program is run through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service agency. In short, this program provides an opportunity for children to continue essential growth and development with nutritious meals during long vacation periods from school. The sites operate in low-income areas where at least half of the children comes from families with income at or below 185 percent of the Federal poverty level, making them eligible for free and reduced price school meals. The meals and snacks are free of cost to children under the age of 18.
This summer, Lima schools is hosting lunch sites throughout the community. Starting this week, lunch will be served at Heritage, Independence, Liberty, South and Unity schools. Service time is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The lunch schedule will continue through the summer, ending Aug. 4.
Summer lunch guidelines include:
• Free meals are only available to children under the age of 18.
• All meals must be eaten there, and leftovers may not be removed from the eating area.
• One meal per child.
• Free meals are only served at the above school locations during the times listed.
These summer meals follow the same healthy meal planning guidelines and food components would be provided during the school year. This includes proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables and milk. Foods with minimal nutritional value are not included.
Lima schools is pleased to be able to offer this service to the community and hope to serve many meals to our children at each of their sites this summer. If you, or someone you know would benefit from this free meal service, please pass the information along and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. While summertime is most definitely a time to play, relax and take a break from the routine of school, it is also a time to remember to eat right. Nutrition is and should be a priority for our community kids and thanks to this wonderful program, many will be able to continue to make nutrition a priority all summer long.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Carrie Woodruff, director of food service, at 419-996-3437.