Summer meal program increases kids’ access to healthy meals
A program provided by Hays USD 489 is ensuring children have access to a healthy and nutritious meal even after the school year ends.
According to the USD 489’s director of nutrition services Jessica Calhoun, the Summer Food Program, funded by the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, serves an important need in the community.
“A good portion of students in Hays qualify for the free and reduced meals and, a lot of times, with those kids, (the school’s breakfast and lunch) is the only healthy, full complete meal they get in the day,” Calhoun said. “And then when school is out, that need continues.”
Calhoun said she knows the kids who attend are thankful for the program USD 489 and districts across the state and country have provided for years.
“Last year, we got different cards and pictures and things from kids. … They are just so thankful and appreciate they are provided with meals during the summertime,” Calhoun said, adding the program typically serves around 50 breakfasts each day and anywhere from 100 to 200 lunches per day.
Calhoun said all kids are welcome to attend, and no registration is required.
The Summer Food Service Program is hosted at Washington Elementary, 305 Main, from May 27 through July 9.
The program operates on weekdays with breakfast served from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
The program is free for children age 2 to 18, and meals cost $3.40 for adults.
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