Michelle Barker, a food service team member, serves lunch to children at Danville Community High School during the summer feeding program.

Danville schools host summer meal program

For the second year, the Danville Community School Corporation is hosting a free summer feeding program to make sure children in the community have access to food all summer long.

Director of Food Services Stephanie Stuemke said the federally funded program offers lunch to all children, regardless of their free and reduced status.

“Our numbers have increased a lot this year, because I think word is getting out,” Stuemke said. “On average, we do about 125 meals a day between our two sites.”

The program is held from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 2, with no lunches being served on July 4. Children 18-years-old and younger eat for free, with parents offered meals for $3 each.

Michelle Barker, a food service team member, serves lunch to children at Danville Community High School during the summer feeding program.

Lunch is served at both Danville Community High School, 100 Warrior Way, and Ellis Park, 600 East Main St., each week day. The high school meals are served in the cafeteria, with Ellis Park meals served at the Train Station on Tuesday and Thursday, and at Shelter 1 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Inclement weather may move the location of the meal served at the park.

The menu changes daily, with Domino’s Pizza served each Thursday at both locations.

“The summer meal program is a lot more lenient than during the regular school year,” Stuemke explained. “That’s because nationally, only 16 percent of kids who are eligible eat at summer meal programs. Most of our kids eating with us are elementary age, so I do gear the menu towards them.”

Additional state rules with the program require children to take all items offered and eat meals on site. Children are not allowed to share food with anyone older than 18-years-old. A “share tub” is set up at each site for children to donate sealed meal items they don’t wish to eat so other children may have extra.

Danville Community Middle School Food Service Building Manager Janice Carter takes lunches to be transported to Ellis Park from High School Cafeteria Manager Bernie Wallis.

Danville Community Middle School Food Service Building Manager Janice Carter has been serving meals at Ellis Park since May 30, and said it’s been a success so far.

“The park already has a lot of kids there playing, some participating in park programs or at the swimming pool,” Carter explained. “It’s a great central area and you can tell the kids are so appreciative of the free lunch.”

Partnering this year with the Danville Lunch Bunch and Nutrition Club on Tuesday and Thursday, children also receive additional goodies, like books, at the Ellis Park location. The Lunch Bunch is funded through community support and donations.

Because of this partnership, Stuemke said as many as 150 meals are served on those days.

Bernie Wallis, cafeteria manager at Danville Community High School, packs pizza to be served at the summer feeding program at Ellis Park.

Both Stuemke and Carter agree that this program is great for the community, and they are hopeful it will continue to grow and help families.

“This program is important because we have some families that can’t afford to provide their children with lunch throughout the summer, because during the school year they are getting free lunch,” Stuemke added. “But I think it’s a convenient program for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.”

To view the summer lunch menus, visit www.danville.k12.in.us and select “Food Services” under the “Departments” tab on the main page. The summer menus are linked through the “Menus” tab on the left.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

Check Also

Indiana State Fair the Greatest Value of Summer

Indianapolis, IN: – The Indiana State Fair unveiled today a variety of themed days, discounts …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *