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Schools Feeding Kids With or Without Summer School

By Annie Gilbertson | Published 27 Jun 2011 05:51pm | comments
McWillie Elementary students at lunch

School may be out, but lunch is still being served!  So is breakfast and snacks. 

Many conversations take place over lunch at McWillie Elementary School in Jackson.  One student calmly tells a classmate to stop making fun of his cousin, another pretends a carton of milk is a balloon, holding it over his head.

All summer school students are sitting in front of disposable plates piled with potato salad, a wheat roll, broccoli and steak fingers - like chicken fingers but beef.  Also eating are students learning English as a second language and a group of preschoolers.

Mary Hill, Director of Food Services for Jackson Public Schools, said anyone under 18 can eat during the summer - no application or payment required.

And they've seen an increase in participation, partly due to an increase in enrichment activities, which attracts students and allows for federal support.

“And that has grown over the year depending on the various segments that principals will have - enrichment programs,” said Hill.

Counting breakfast, lunch and snack, Jackson Public Schools serves on average 40,000 meals every day.   5th-grader Keyara Johnson said she thinks this is a good thing.

“I’d be starving,” she said. “It’s hard to do work when you’re hungry, because you need your energy.”

The vast majority of funding for these programs comes from the USDA - a fact that allows for low-income districts from across the state to continue feeding programs during summer months.  This year,15% more feeding sites were added and initiatives were put in place to increase attendance. 

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McWillie Elementary students at lunch


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