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Published: Friday, June 29, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Summer meals program aims to keep kids well fed

Federal program offers free lunch for kids in low-income communities

  • Trezher Young, 4, of Lake Stevens, laughs while talking to her mom, Macoiya Young and her brother, Todd Young, 6, while eating lunch at Hillcrest Elem...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Trezher Young, 4, of Lake Stevens, laughs while talking to her mom, Macoiya Young and her brother, Todd Young, 6, while eating lunch at Hillcrest Elementary School Tuesday. The district began hosting a summer meal program this week.

  • Phillene Dosskey, 3, studies her apple during lunch with her aunt, Heather Nash, two of Nash's kids and a friend Tuesday at Hillcrest Elementary Schoo...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Phillene Dosskey, 3, studies her apple during lunch with her aunt, Heather Nash, two of Nash's kids and a friend Tuesday at Hillcrest Elementary School. The school district began a summer meal program this week.

  • Dawson Spiger, 5, carefully scoops some pineapple wedges onto his plate to use on his pizza Tuesday at Hillcrest Elementary School.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Dawson Spiger, 5, carefully scoops some pineapple wedges onto his plate to use on his pizza Tuesday at Hillcrest Elementary School.

  • With help from her aunt, Heather Nash (right) Phillene Dosskey, 3, picks some food items for her lunch Tuesday at Hillcrest Elementary School. The sch...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    With help from her aunt, Heather Nash (right) Phillene Dosskey, 3, picks some food items for her lunch Tuesday at Hillcrest Elementary School. The school district began a summer meal program this week.

LAKE STEVENS -- First-grader Todd Young smeared tomato sauce across a layer of pita bread at a table in the cafeteria at Hillcrest Elementary School. He sprinkled cheese over the sauce and ate the pizza he had just created.
Todd, 6, thought his lunch tasted good Tuesday afternoon. His mom, Macoiya Young, said he was hungry after working up an appetite at basketball camp. The free summer meal program that began this week fits right into her two children's daily routines now that school is out.
"It's perfect timing," Young said. "The kids really enjoy it."
Pita pizzas, deli sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies were all part of the menu at the school this week as part of a federal program to feed school-age kids.
School districts throughout Snohomish County have started or are planning to participate in summer food programs this summer.
The free meals are served in schools or other locations in low-income communities where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. The federal government reimburses the districts and other organizations for meals served. Any child 18 years and younger can have a free lunch and there are no requirements or paperwork to take part in the program.
There are 35 summer meal sites in the county this year. That's six more than in 2011, said Claire Lane, food security program manager for WithinReach, a Seattle-based nonprofit that promotes summer lunch programs in the state.
"That's been a huge push on outreach," Lane said. "Where schools haven't been able to keep their doors open we've encouraged other community organizations to step into that void and we've gotten great responses."
WithinReach partners with the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide information about summer meals sites.
This is the first time Lake Stevens School District has participated in the summer meal program. The district serves lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Hillcrest Elementary. The program is set to end on Aug. 3, and no meal will be offered on July 4.
The program's first four days brought in up to 50 kids each day, said Mollie Langum, food and nutrition supervisor for the district. The meal on Monday was kind of quiet, so on Tuesday Langum played music by the Beach Boys.
"We just want to make it as fun and uplifting as we can so kids are excited to come back," she said.
The Snohomish School District started a three-week summer meal program in 2010. Last year it expanded to include breakfast and lunch throughout the summer. On Monday, the district began serving meals at Snohomish High School and mobile units at the Snohomish Boys & Girls Club and the Circle H Mobile Home Park.
Last summer, the program served 2,346 breakfasts and 5,854 lunches to area kids, said Kristin Foley, a district spokeswoman.
"We expanded again because there are a lot of kids who cannot get to the school," she said. "We thought it was important to get the food to them."
The Everett Public Schools food and nutrition department has since 1991 sponsored summer lunch programs for kids. This year, the program is set to run July 9 through Aug. 24 at about 20 sites. The district's food and nutrition department staff and volunteers plan to transport meals, serve children and supervise the sites.
The district served 15,000 meals last summer, said Joanna Peeler, food and nutrition manager. The lunches and snacks provide food for students who might otherwise go without. It also offers a social opportunity for kids, Peeler said.
"I think it gives them some place to go rather than staying at home all day," she said.
Although not part of the federal program, the nonprofit organization, Food Lifeline, started a new program on June 19 to serve food to children in low-income communities. The hunger relief organization based in Shoreline worked with Volunteers of America's Sky Valley Service Center in Sultan to begin Kids Cafe. The summer meal program for kids 18 and younger operates at Doolittle Pioneer Park in Index. The program is scheduled to run three days a week through Aug. 30. Food Lifeline is planning to partner with other community organizations such as food banks and community centers. It hopes to expand to more sites and offer free food service for children after school, said Ashley Gammell, a spokeswoman for Food Lifeline.
"We have a lot of data that shows kids really need this service," she said. "We seek to not compete with other programs but rather to be filling gaps where there is no service."
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.
Where to go
Most free summer lunch programs in Snohomish County run from Monday to Friday, with some closed on certain days. They are free to those 18 and younger. Some sell meals to people who are older and some also offer breakfast or snacks.
For other places call 888-4-FOOD-WA or go to www.Parenthelp123.org for more information.

Everett School District:
Cedar Grove Apartments
7401 84th St. NE, Marysville
11:30 a.m. to noon, July 9 to Aug. 24

Emerson Elementary
8702 Seventh Ave. SE, Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 6-23

Everett Boys & Girls Club
2316 12th St. Everett
11 a.m. to noon, July 9 to Aug. 24

Family Tree Apartments
10110 19th Ave. SE, Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

Garfield Elementary
2215 Pine St., Everett
11:15 to 11:45 a.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

Grace Lutheran Church
8401 Holly Drive, Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 10 to Aug. 23

Grandview Apartments
718 Linden St., Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

Hawthorne Elementary
1110 Poplar St., Everett
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

Heatherwood Apartments
13510 North Creek Drive, Mill Creek
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

Lincoln Way Apartments
2721 Lincoln Way, Lynnwood
11:30 a.m. to noon, July 9 to Aug. 24

Lowell Elementary
5010 View Drive, Everett
Noon to 12:30, Aug. 6-24

Madison Elementary
616 Pecks Drive, Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 6-23

Mill Pointe Apartments
3111 132nd St. SE, Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

North Middle School
2514 Rainier Ave., Everett
Breakfast: 8 to 8:30 a.m., lunch: 10:30 to 11 a.m.; July 9-19

Pineview Resident Council
220 98th 1/2 Place SE, Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 9 to Aug. 24

Sequoia High School
3516 Rucker Ave., Everett
10:15 to 10:45 a.m., July 10 to Aug. 17

Silver Lake Elementary
12815 Bothell-Everett Highway, Everett
Noon to 12:30, Aug. 6-23

Trailside Apartments
1300 100th Pl. SE. Suite A, Everett
11:30 a.m. to noon, July 9 to Aug. 24

Westwood Crossing Apartments
1350 Cedar Ave., Marysville
11 a.m. to noon, July 9 to Aug. 24

Zion Lutheran Church
4634 S. Alger Ave., Everett
Noon to 12:30 p.m., July 9-27

Granite Falls School District
Granite Falls Middle
405 N. Alder Ave., Granite Falls
Noon to 1 p.m., ends Aug. 31

Lake Stevens School District
Hillcrest Elementary
9315 4th St. SE, Lake Stevens
Noon to 12:30 p.m., ends Aug. 3

Marysville School District
Beach Street Boys & Girls Club
1010 Beach St., Marysville
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to noon, snack: 2:30 to 3 p.m.; July 9 to Aug. 24

Cascade Elementary
5200 100th St. NE, Marysville
Snack: 9:30 to 10 a.m., lunch: 11:30 to noon; July 9 to Aug. 24

Liberty Elementary
1919 10th St., Marysville
Snack: 9:30 to 10 a.m., lunch: 11:30 a.m. to noon; July 9 to Aug. 24

Shoultes Elementary
13525 51st Ave. NE, Marysville
Snack: 9:30 to 10 a.m., lunch: 11:30 a.m. to noon; July 9 to Aug. 24

Tulalip Boys & Girls Club
7707 36th Ave. NW, Tulalip
Snack: 9:30 to 10 a.m., lunch: Noon to 12:30 p.m.; July 9 to Aug. 24

Monroe School District
Frank Wagner Elementary School
115 Dickinson Road
Noon to 12:45 p.m., ends Aug. 17

Mukilteo School District
Horizon Elementary
222 W. Casino Road, Everett
Breakfast: 7:45 to 8:45 a.m., lunch: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Ends Aug. 24.

Odyssey Elementary
13025 17th Ave. W., Everett
Breakfast: 7:45 to 8:45 a.m., lunch: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Ends Aug. 24.

Voyager Middle
11711 Fourth Ave. W., Everett
Breakfast: 8 to 9 a.m., lunch: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Ends Aug. 24.

Snohomish School District
Snohomish High School
1316 Fifth St., Snohomish
Breakfast: 8:30 to 9 a.m., lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 31.

Snohomish Boys & Girls Club
402 Second St., Snohomish
11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., ends Aug. 31

Circle H Mobile Home Park
6413 123rd Ave. SE, Snohomish
Noon to 12:15 p.m., ends Aug. 31

Stanwood-Camano School District
Twin City Elementary School
26211 72nd Ave. NW.
Breakfast: 9 to 10 a.m., lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., ends Aug. 23

Other Sponsors and Sites

North Counties Family Services
Darrington School District Cafeteria
1065 Fir St., Darrington
11:30 a.m. to noon, ends July 26

Food Lifeline Kids Cafe
Doolittle Pioneer Park
Fifth Street and Avenue A, Index
Noon to 1 p.m., Tues., Wed., Thurs.; ends Aug. 30


Story tags » Education & SchoolsPovertyNutrition

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