School district to participate in free summer meal program | Paterson Times

School district to participate in free summer meal program


The city’s school age children, anyone under the age of eighteen, will be able to obtain free breakfast and lunch during the summer months at designated locations as the district has joined the 2014 Summer Food Service Program.

The district will be participating in the summer food program from July 1st to August 29, 2014. “The program is open to any sites or locations throughout the city not just the public schools,” said David Buchholtz, director of food services at the district. “It’s open to any location where kids congregate. We service parks, churches, day care centers, community centers, and schools.”

The director said the district has yet to compile a list of schools where youths will be able to go during the summer for food. However, he said he will know the location as summer approaches. “I will know as we get closer to the summer,” said Buchholtz.

The federal program run by the Food and Nutrition Services of the United States Department of Agriculture provides reimbursement for each meal served. The district has been participating in the program for well over 20-years, according Buchholtz. Last year, the program served lunch to about 3,000 children and breakfast to roughly 2,000 youths.

Buchholtz noted that the program is separate from the district’s extended school year program which serves students enrolled in summer programs. “Those kids that are in the school are fed at no cost,” said Buchholtz.

The director described the two summer meal programs that are in the district: one which feeds students enrolled in various summer programs at the district and the other is the federal program which is open to all children under 18-years of age.

Low-income students often rely heavily on the school lunch program to provide them with a healthy meal, but that door shutters when schools close for the summer. The federal program was put in place to ensure school age children do not go hungry during the summer.