Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has kicked off its Summer Food Service Program, offering free nutritionally balanced meals to children and teens to help prevent the nutritional ‘summer slide.’ The free breakfasts and lunches are available Monday through Friday at 127 sites throughout the summer.
“We know that making sure young people maintain a healthy diet is a key factor in how much they retain of what they’ve learned,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens said. “The summer food program helps ensure that a nutritious meal is readily available throughout the county, and at locations that make it easy for young people to access.”
The program operates at open sites—which serve meals to any child on a first-come, first-served basis—and at certain camps and summer programs. Participants can also get a meal at the JCPS Bus Stop Café, a converted school bus that travels to sites where young people typically gather, such as parks and pools. The program is open to anyone age 18 or under, regardless of whether they attend a JCPS school.
“JCPS is proud to sponsor the USDA Summer Food Service Program,” JCPS Nutrition Services Director Julia Bauscher said. “This program helps all children in Jefferson County have a healthy, fun summer. We hope that children will join us for summer meals at one of our 120-plus sites!”
Families can find a site near them by texting “FOOD” to 877877, checking the school menu section of the JCPS mobile app or by visiting JCPS.Nutrislice.com.
Last year, JCPS served 104,689 breakfasts and 178,121 lunches throughout the summer as part of its free Summer Food Service Program. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.