Summer food service offers meals to students in need

Mobile cafe offers free food during summer

Caitlin Danborn
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 6/19/18

Jefferson County Schools’ Summer Food Service Program kicked off the summer with an event at Emory Elementary School in Lakewood featuring the program’s mobile bus as well as vendors including …

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Summer food service offers meals to students in need

Mobile cafe offers free food during summer

Posted

Jefferson County Schools’ Summer Food Service Program kicked off the summer with an event at Emory Elementary School in Lakewood featuring the program’s mobile bus as well as vendors including Jeffco Eats and Hunger Free Colorado, all promoting access to free, healthy food over the summer for Jeffco students.

Students who rely on free and reduced lunch during the school year lose about 42 percent of their meals over the summer, according to Barbara Moore, executive director of Jeffco Eats.

“Hunger does not end in the summer,” said Beth Wallace, executive director of Jeffco Food and Nutrition Services.

The Summer Food Service Program offers meals to families from all walks of life with its mobile bus. The bus includes a refrigerator, hot box, a sink, and tables. Meals are prepared at Jeffco’s central kitchen site in Lakewood and distributed at the Arvada Public Library and the Seacrest Pool, said Executive Chef Amanda Martin.

“The best part is still getting to see kids during the summer months when schools are closed. It’s really nice to still know that we’re getting to the communities and to the kids who need food,” said Martin, who also works during the school year as executive chef.

The mobile units were out of operation due to decreased participation for several years, but when the Colorado Health Department Coalition approached Director of Operations for Food and Nutrition Services Jeremy West about re-opening the buses this summer, West quickly agreed and began working to find distribution locations that would yield higher participation.

West said the program wants “to take the food to where kids are. Kids are at the library, doing programs. They are at pools everyday.”

“We know that there are families who are struggling for food access. Come eat with us.”

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