By Carol McIntire
The food service staff for Carrollton Schools will be serving up free meals to any student in the district under the age of 18 for the next five weeks.
Barabara Burns, director of Nutrition Services for the district, said the staff will provide a free “grab-n-go” breakfast snack and noon meal Monday through Thursday from July 5 through Aug. 5. The breakfast snack will be served from 9-10 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Both will be available in the cafeteria.
Burns said the snack will be simple such as milk and cereal, a cheese stick and a cereal bar, fruit juice and a pop tart or a yogurt cup and granola.
Lunch will include some of the cafeteria favorites from the school year such as the turkey sub, chicken patty and pizza meals.
“All will meet USDA guidelines,” Burns noted. “A really nice aspect of this program is that we can incorporate fresh vegetables from the school garden into our menu. We are really excited about that aspect.”
The program is part of the state’s Seamless Summer Program. Carrollton Schools qualify to participate in the program due to the percentage of students enrolled in the free and reduced breakfast and lunch program during the school year.
“Approximately 55 percent of the students in the elementary school are eligible for the program,” she explained. The Seamless Summer program combines features from the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program. The goal is to make it easier to feed children from low-income areas during the traditional summer vacation period.”
Burns noted every child under the age of 18 in the school district is welcome.
“There are no forms to fill out, no income guidelines, no requirements,” she said. “If there are a group of children at a church camp, they are welcome to attend. It is open to anyone. In fact, I would love to feed the entire football team!” she said.
Burn said in Ohio in 2014, 3,920 children, or 13.7 percent of the county’s 28,539 residents, were food insecure, which means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
“We want to provide those children with the food they need so they are ready to learn when they return to the classroom in August,” she said.
Those wishing to participate should enter the cafeteria through the doors on Second St. NE near the entrance to the elementary school.