RosevilleJune 15, 2012
Breakfast, lunch program offers free food for kids all summer
By Sara Kandel
C & G Staff Writer
ROSEVILLE — School may be out for the summer, but in Roseville one part of the school day will last all summer long — lunch.
The Roseville Recreation Department’s Rec Center, 18185 Sycamore St., is one of four locations in the city this summer that will be offering free breakfast and lunch to kids under the age of 18 through mid-August.
“They don’t have to live in Roseville. This program is for any child under the age of 18 or under the age of 26 if they are state certified as being or enrolled in school for mental or physical handicaps,” said Bobbie Wilson, the program director for the department.
The Rec Center will open its doors from 7-8 a.m. for breakfast and from 11 a.m. to noon for lunch Monday through Friday, from June 18 to Aug. 17. There is no charge, and parents aren’t required for sign in.
The program, which is sponsored by the Southeast Michigan Food Navigators, will also be operating out of Roseville High School, Kment Elementary and Global Academy this summer. Meal times may vary by location.
“We chose the times we did only based on our space in terms of seating capacity, because Meals on Wheels is from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and we didn’t want to overlap too much with them,” said Wilson. “We will have the TV on, cartoons or something, so they can sit in there, eat their breakfast or lunch and head home.”
All food served will meet USDA standards for nutritional requirements. Breakfast will mostly be pre-packaged items, such as muffins and bagels. Lunch will consist of a sandwich, fruit or vegetable, a snack, sometimes such side items as pasta salad, and a beverage.
“We really want people to take advantage of the program every day if they can versus just the days that are rough,” said Wilson. “Take advantage of it, so we make sure we have the meals for them; because once we are out of the meals for them, I don’t think we are going to be able to order them in.”
Meals will be delivered daily and ordered weekly. The pre-ordering will be the tricky part, as they must estimate how many meals to order each week. Wilson advised that it’s important to come as often as possible for people who want to utilize the program, so they make sure to always have a good average in mind when placing their weekly order.
In Roseville, 76 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The program’s aim is to make sure those kids are getting proper nutrients over the summer.
“The whole purpose of this is because how many kids in school take advantage of the free lunch program,” said Recreation Director Tony Lipinski. “So what do they do when they are out of school? They are trying to get food to kids that may not have it.”
In addition to funding for the program, the Rec Department received a grant through Share Our Strength to help offset some of the costs of implementing the program. The $3,000 grant will cover the cost for a refrigerator and some staffing.
“This is really a target area for a program like this,” Wilson said. “It will do a lot of good for the community. Really, nine weeks of free breakfast and lunch for all the kids in the house could help any family out. We’re really excited to be able to have the program here and be involved in making sure the kids in our community have access to nutritious food during the summer.”
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