When school isn’t in session, some families face the challenge feeding children without the support of the National School Lunch Program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers its Summer Food Service Program to help children have access to nutritious meals in the summer months. The program is offered at certain schools in low-income areas where the National School Lunch Program already plays a vital role.
Schools qualify to offer the program if more than 50 percent of their students qualify for free or reduced price lunches during the school year.
Four schools in Ralston offer the program, which runs Mondays through Fridays through July 26. The location and hours are:
Ÿ Blumfield Elementary School, 10310 Mockingbird Drive, serves breakfast from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Ÿ Karen Western Elementary School, 6224 H St., serves breakfast from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Ÿ Mockingbird Elementary School, 5100 S. 93rd St., serves breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m.
Ÿ Ralston Middle School, 8202 Lakeview St. serves breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Judy Kyle, the food service director for Ralston Public Schools, said the program is terrific for the Ralston community.
“We have a higher free-reduced rate: 56.7 percent,” Kyle said. “It’s really helpful for those families.”
All children age 18 and under are welcome to enjoy a free meal at any location during the summer.
In addition to allowing children to have free meals, the Food Bank of the Heartland is providing a sponsorship to allows parents accompanying children to enjoy the free meals. Kyle said the district is grateful to the food bank for its support.
The food bank is also offering free produce to anyone in the community on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. through Aug. 7 in the Ralston High School parking lot at 8989 Park Drive.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
No identification or other requirements must be shown.