Free breakfast, lunch available at Masonic Heights

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 9, 2014

 Colin McCarthy, 10, left, and Riley McCarthy, 12, get a lunch of macaroni and cheese from food service worker Anita Brohl as part of the free summer meal program at Masonic Heights Elementary School.

Colin McCarthy, 10, left, and Riley McCarthy, 12, get a lunch of macaroni and cheese from food service worker Anita Brohl as part of the free summer meal program at Masonic Heights Elementary School.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

Advertisement

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Now in its third year, the free summer meal program in Lake Shore Public Schools is opening early, serving breakfast as well as lunch each day at Masonic Heights Elementary School.

“Since there is a need for it, we (thought) we would try it,” said Tina Morris, food service director at Lake Shore Public Schools.

Masonic Heights Elementary School, 22100 Masonic Blvd., qualifies to offer free summer meals to children up to 18 years old because more than 50 percent of the students at the school qualify

for free or reduced-income lunches during the school year. During the summer, the program is open to any child — no proof of income or need is required.

The school now offers free breakfast Monday-Friday from 8-9 a.m. and lunch weekdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. There is a $3.15 charge for adults, but any child and person up to age 26 who is enrolled in an educational program for a mental or physical disability is free. The program is open to any child; no registration is required and there are no residency requirements.

“It’s pretty much a steady stream,” Morris said. “When we first started running, we had nobody the first day. This year, we had 20 people for lunch. To me, that’s great. It’s catching on.”

“It’s a really good idea,” said 14-year-old Elizabeth Breger, who usually comes with her dad to grab lunch.

On July 1, she was with her mother, Crystal Breger, of St. Clair Shores, and two young friends.

“The nice thing is there’s no stipulation” on income, Crystal Breger noted, adding that the lunch program also “gives them some variety they wouldn’t get at home.”

Twelve-year-old Riley McCarthy and his brother Colin have been enjoying coming back to school for breakfast and lunch each day since the free meal program began this year.

“Some kids, they don’t have enough money to buy lunch every day, so they can come to school,” Colin said.

Riley said they have to wake up early each day to make it in time for breakfast, but they don’t mind. He said he’s even told some friends about it, encouraging them to come try out the program.


Each meal is a full entree with milk, fruit, vegetable, grain and protein; the options are similar to what is served throughout the school year. The summer meal program will be served through Aug. 15.

Morris said Lake Shore is reimbursed by the state with federal dollars for the program, which usually sustains itself.

“You’re lucky if you break even, so that’s what we aim for is just to run it for that reason,” she said.

Masonic Heights is the only location in the city to offer the free summer breakfasts and lunches.

Advertisement