New Haven will be the scene for a new push to feed school age kids during the summer, when schools are closed:
Julia Lawrence, Food Trucks Keep Low-Income Kids Fed During Summer Vacation
The reduced-price or free lunch program has become a mainstay of public schools and is considered one of the most effective tools in combating childhood hunger. Unfortunately, the program ends when the schools shut for the summer, leaving some kids without a convenient resource to sate their hunger until the classes resume in the fall. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture does fund a Summer Food Service Program that is open to children from low-income families, getting to the distribution site could be difficult.
Into this gap stepped Tim Cipriano, who is the executive director of school food services for New Haven, Connecticut. In order to make sure that the kids will be fed, he arranged the food to be delivered in what has become a common site for many urbanites: a food truck. While having to go to somewhere for a meal might carry a stigma, no similar reservations seem to keep kids from approaching the summer food trucks.
“It’s kind of the cool thing to do, to go to the food truck,” Cipriano says. He piloted the idea last August with a “bare-bones” setup, filling a truck with coolers and ice packs and visiting designated sites in neighborhoods where lots of children qualify for free and reduced-price lunches. The brightly painted truck handed out 17,000 meals in just 20 days.
Cipriano’s plan for this summer is even more ambitious. Over the next two months, he plans to have over 40,000 meals served to kids in their own neighborhoods. The program’s expanded capacity came about as a result of truck refurbishment which fitted all vehicles with both an internal generator and a new refrigeration system. These overhauls also allow Cipriano to expand beyond the traditional brown-bag fare and offer kids hot meals.
Lawrence’s story touches on other school systems that are experimenting in similar ways: bringing the food to the kids during the summer months.Blog comments powered by Disqus
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- alfornia said: Just goes to show. The gap between the haves and the have nots. Has only. Widened.
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