Free summer lunch program reaches more hungry children | News – California News

Free summer lunch program reaches more hungry children | News – California News

In just two years, the Mountain View Whisman School District has quadrupled the number of meals served to hungry kids during the summer months, going a long way toward improving the North County’s dearth of free food services when schools close for summer break.

The district’s “Seamless Summer” program looked a whole lot different this year, extending its operation from six weeks to eight weeks, and using food delivery trucks to expand to Rengstorff and Klein parks as well as the Mountain View Public Library. It ran from June 12 through the first week of August. Children head back to school next week.

The goal was to feed as many kids as possible throughout Mountain View, particularly the 34 percent of school district students who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the school year, according to Debbie Austin, the district’s director of food services. The biggest change was bringing the food to where the children are, rather than ask families to travel across town to a designated feeding site each day, which meant kids playing at the park merely had to break off from the fun and games around noon to grab a free lunch.

At a May 18 school board meeting, Austin announced that she wanted to serve 50,000 meals by the end of summer — more than the 39,185 meals served last summer and a big leap from the 15,000 meals served in 2015.

Austin is a woman of her word: As of Wednesday morning, Aug. 9, the district reported having dished out 60,467 summer meals, vastly improving access by delivering food to popular locales in Mountain View. That includes more than 4,700 meals served at the Mountain View library, 4,500 at Rengstorff Park and a little over 1,000 meals…

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