Summer may have begun for students, but things haven’t slowed down for the food service programs at Warren County Public Schools and the Bowling Green Independent School District.
“The need is out there, and a lot of times we are in a bubble and we don’t necessarily see that need,” said Dalla Emerson, director of food service operations at the Bowling Green Independent School District.
Starting Tuesday, students 18 years old and younger can get breakfast and lunch without charge at several locations throughout the district.
They include Dishman-McGinnis Elementary School, Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School, Bowling Green Junior High School and the Bowling Green Learning Center, located at 503 Old Morgantown Road.
The district also offers two mobile food service routes, with stops and times listed on its website. Emerson added that signs have been placed near stops on the routes.
Emerson noted that the district’s food service program serves a diverse community of students, including refugees and children with parents who, in some cases, work two jobs each to make ends meet.
Because of that, the district has high standards in the meals it serves students, Emerson said. This summer, the school will be serving locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and watermelon from Need More Acres farm in Allen County.
Likewise, Warren County Public Schools will launch its own summer meals program June 3.
Between Monday and Friday, students 18 years old and younger can get breakfast and lunch at Jennings Creek Elementary School for free. WCPS’ School Bus Cafe will also ride again starting June 3 and make eight stops throughout the county.
“When school is out, we still need to meet the nutrition needs of our students,” said Gina Howard, director of food services and nutrition at WCPS. It’s a way that we can give back to our community and serve our kids during the summer.”
Along with some of the typical meal choices students get during the school year, such as chicken sandwiches and pizza wraps, Howard said locally grown blueberries, strawberries and watermelon will also be available.