Warsaw Community Schools is gearing up for its ninth year participating in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which ensures low-income children receive nutritious meals while school is out.
Marci Franks, director of food and nutrition at WCS, says the school corporation got involved several years ago when summer school students asked teachers for food. This raised some concern for teachers and administrators.
WCS tapped into the SFSP, which is federally-funded, state-administered program. Anyone age 18 and younger can get free lunches and breakfast throughout the summer. “Children need healthy food all year long. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again and make children more prone to illness and other health issues,” says literature on the USDA. “The SFSP is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children get the nutritious meals they need.”
While many of the meals are geared toward children (there’s a Dippity Do Da Day where all food items are dippable), adults can get affordable lunches as well. For a mere $3.50, adults can purchase a nutritious meal.
“We’ve noticed a very good participation rate,” Franks says. “We feel like if were serving 100 or 150, then its that many students who are benefiting from the program.”
Meals are on a first come, first serve basis, and WCS students will get priority during service, but children not enrolled in summer school programs at Edgewood Middle School, Warsaw High School or Washington Elementary, may receive a meal the last 15 minutes of each serving period after students are released to class. And there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.
Free meals will be provided at the sites listed below, Monday through Friday.
- Winona Lake Park, 1590 Park Ave., Winona Lake. Lunch served 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday, June 8, through Friday, July 31.
- Bixler Park at Center Lake, 503 N. Detroit, Warsaw. Lunch served 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday, June 8, through Friday, July 31.
- Edgewood Middle School, 900 S. Union St., Warsaw. Breakfast served 7:45 a.m. until 9 a.m. and lunch served 11 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Monday, June 8, through Friday, July 31. Days off are Wednesday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 8.
- Warsaw High School, 1 Tiger Lane, Warsaw. Breakfast served 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. and lunch served 10:45 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. beginning Monday, June 8 through Friday, July 31. Days off are Monday, July 1, through Wednesday, July 8.
- Washington Elementary, 423 Kincaide, Warsaw. Breakfast served 8 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. and lunch served 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. beginning Monday, June 8, and ending Tuesday, June 30.
- The Kosciusko County fairgrounds will be hosting a one day program. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5
“We’re excited. We’re expecting a good response again,” says Franks. “Every year it seems to grow a little bit more.”
For more information, see this earlier press release or contact Warsaw Community Schools.