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MSD provides free lunches for kids

The local school district will provide nutritional lunches through Aug. 25

 

Christopher Andersson

Greyson Hynek, left, and Brody Hynek eat a lunch at Allen Creek Elementary on July 6, provided by the Marysville School District's free summer lunches program.

The Marysville School District's free summer lunch program, which provides meals to any child who goes to one of their sites, began on July 5.

The program will continue through Aug. 25 with times for snacks and lunches.

"We have nine sites that we're running and serving nutritious meals for free at the sites," said Latoya Morris, child nutrition services director for the district.

"They don't have to check in or sign in, it's just a matter of going in and grabbing a meal," she said.

The meals are free to any child 18 years of age or younger. Children do not need to be enrolled in the district or the school they are eating at to participate.

Adults can also purchase a lunch for $4 and a snack for $2.

"We've had some senior citizens and families take advantage of that," said Peggy King, administrative assistant to finance and operations.

This is the sixth year for the program.

"Our free and reduced population is about 49 percent, which means half of our students are at the federal poverty level and several families are just above that as well," said King.

"They rely on free breakfast and lunch all school year and when school stops those nutritional meals stop," she said.

Local parent Diana Dougherty said she has been coming to the summer lunches for a couple of years now and said they help a lot.

"I absolutely love the free lunch program for the kids because it really helps with supplementing the income during the summer," she said.

"We're lucky to have it in our town to provide for our kids during the summertime," she said.

Dougherty said that her kids also get to meet other people at the lunches as well.

"They get to run into people here that they know from the community, which is great," she said.

Local parent Kaitlyn Hynek recently came out to a lunch for the first time and said it was a good opportunity for her kids to see the school.

"This is the kindergarten my son will go to, not this year but next year, so just kind of seeing what they offer throughout the summer and what this program has," she said.

She added it was a good program for the community. "It seems like a great opportunity for everyone," she said.

The program has expanded each year, said King, and they served 26,313 snacks and lunches last year.

"We're hoping to exceed that this year," she said.

This year includes two new sites for the program at Allen Creek Elementary and the Don Hatch Tribal Youth Center, said King.

"The goal is to always feed more. There's always someone that we missed last year and there's opportunity to network it out," said Morris.

"Anytime you can feed one more, that's a good thing," she said.

The program comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture under their National School Lunch Program.

The food is paid for with federal funds and the district pays for the staff to distribute it.

Monday through Friday lunches are available at Allen Creek Elementary, Cascade Elementary, Liberty Elementary and Shoultes Elementary from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

A snack is provided at those sites from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

There are also times available for some days at the Marysville Boys & Girls Club, Westend Crossing Apartments, Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary, Cedar Grove Apartments and the Don Hatch Tribal Youth Center.

For a full list of times go to bit.ly/MSD25EatFree.

 

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