This summer, children are enjoying a wide variety of menu items through the Free Summer Food Program provided in partnership with Great Bend USD 428 and USDA. During the month of July, free lunches are available for all children ages 1-18 at Park Elementary School.
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On a warm summer afternoon, children enjoy free snacks in the Great Bend Public Library basement through the Summer Food Program. A free snack is available to children age 1-18 every weekday afternoon in the month of July at the library. The Summer Food Program will be closed July 4 and 5 for the holiday.
Free summer lunches continue at Park School
Daily snacks served at the library
To make healthy meals convenient, accessible and free for children in the community, USD 428 will continue to provide free meals at Park Elementary School as part of the Summer Food Service Program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Children up to 18 years old can participate in the free Summer Food Program. From July 1-26 — excluding July 4 & 5 — Park Elementary School will be the site of free lunches from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Meals include an entrée, two sides and milk.
A daily snack will also be available at the Great Bend Public Library in July. Like the summer lunches, snacks are free to anyone 18 years of age or younger. Prepared by the Central Kitchen, snacks will be served from 3:30-4 p.m. at the Great Bend Public Library.
“Taking advantage of free summer lunches is easier than one might think,” said Andrea Bauer, USD 428 public information director. “My son will start kindergarten this fall and the summer lunches have been a great way to introduce him to the building, the lunch line, and even a few new friends and teachers! There’s no sign-up, check-in or paperwork – it’s a great opportunity for children and families to enjoy in July.”
The month of June saw record numbers of children for both breakfast and lunch at the five elementary schools in Great Bend. Kirsty Alvord, USD 428 food service director, credits the expanded menu as the main reason numbers surpassed 2018 counts by over 800 lunches and 300 breakfasts in the month of June.
“I think there is a misconception that summer meals are only for lower-income families,” said Alvord. “That is not the case. This program is for ALL children.
“Adults are also welcome to come eat with us,” Alvord said. Adult lunches are $3.50.
Each year, USDA partners with local organizations like USD 428 to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer. The program has been supported locally for more than 20 years.
The July lunch menu is available online at www.GreatBendSchools.net. For more information, call the USD 428 Central Kitchen, 620-793-1540.