School District Offers Free Meals to Ensure Fed Mouths, Full Bellies
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – School may be over, but the cafeteria inside Elm Grove Elementary is packed.
“During the day when they’re at school it works out a lot better because they’ll be in school for breakfast and lunch and you just have to feed them dinner,” said Gilbert Myers, an Independence resident. “Now this being out of school, you have to feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, it takes a toll on your food bill.”
But there is help for Myers and the four grand kids he’ll take care of while school’s out. The cost for the family of five to chow down on BBQ sandwiches, tater tots, coleslaw and fruits cups – less than $3.
“I’m grateful for it,” said Myers. “With the economy the way it is and I’m a disabled grandparent, you know, it helps me out a lot.”
Fort Osage Schools that qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year are able to provide free and reduced meals during the summer. And, it’s all funded by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
“We feel it’s really important for those kids to get meals because we do know there are kids out there who aren’t eating during the summer,” said Brenda Dwyer, the food services director for Fort Osage Schools.
Four cafeterias within the Fort Osage School District will cook up breakfast and lunch for anyone in the community five days a week. It’s free for kids, meanwhile adults pay $1.85 for breakfast and $2.60 for lunch. There are no income requirements to meet, so anyone is welcome to come and eat.
“If they can come up here and feed their kids breakfast and lunch then that’s just a little bit more income they have to put in their gas tank or pay their bills with,” said Dwyer.
Or in the case of Myers – more income to take the grand kids on summer adventures.
Fort Osage will prepare breakfast from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. and lunch from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays until August 3, 2012. Cafeterias will be closed for the Independence Day holiday on Wednesday, July 4, 2012.