Marysville schools at five locations will have free summer meals available starting on June 22.
Meals are available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for kids age 18 and under.
Unlike most years, the summer meals program this year will be grab-and-go and not provided with on-site eating.
The meals are given at Allen Creek Elementary, Grove Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary and Totem Middle School.
The program lasts until July 22 at Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary and Totem Middle School, and until Aug. 13 at the other three locations.
No registration or prequalification is required and children do not have to be enrolled in the district to receive the meals.
“The summer meals program started the day after school got out,” said Jodi Runyon, director of communications, engagement and outreach at the district.
The program is meant to support kids who rely on free or reduced school lunches to get food during the week.
“Part of the reason we do it is to help meet a need in our community and to make sure our students and families have access to nutritious meals,” said Runyon.
Almost 50 percent of kids in the district qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to Chris Pearson, acting superintendent for the district.
“I would think our numbers will go up next year due to the pandemic,” said Pearson. “So we’re looking at the majority of our kids who will qualify for free or reduced lunches."
The Marysville School District has offered the program for a number of summers now to support students in the area.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the district has been providing the meals while students were at home, as well.
“During our time of school closures due to COVID we have been able to extend that meals program for that time,” said Runyon.
Unlike their grab-and-go meals served during the school year, these meals will be a higher quality, said Pearson.
“We’re going to serve real meals,” he said. “Before it was kind of an a la carte model, but now it will be actually high quality food."
The program is also being coordinated with the summer school services the district is providing to students this year.
“Our students enrolled in summer school will also have access to these meals,” said Runyon.
The district’s summer meals program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture with money specifically meant to help support food needs of students and does not come from local taxpayer funds.