by Christa Lollis
The breakfast, burgers and fruit in these boxes are headed to several different places. Livingston, Alto, Nacogdoches and Lufkin are just some of the schools that will be serving breakfast and lunch all summer to kids in East Texas. "During the summer there are a lot of children who otherwise wouldn't have breakfast or lunch served in any way. They're used to getting it at school during the school year and so we wanted to be sure and provide a breakfast and a lunch service to the students," Victoria Young with Lufkin ISD explained.
The schools have joined with the Department of Agriculture to provide the service at no cost to East Texas families. They're hoping that having several locations and providing a free meal will help parents save money and get the kids to show up. Young says, "A lot of children live somewhere near a site that we offer the feeding at. Those children could walk to the sites and parents can bring the children, let them eat and then leave and that is a very big benefit to the parents."
Cafeterias will open their doors on Monday and if past years are any indication, the districts are expecting thousands of kids to fill the lunch room. "Last year we served almost 20,000 breakfasts through June, July," Young explains, "and 35,000 lunches so our program is pretty successful and we expect it to get bigger this year because we are going through August 7th." The thing is if numbers are down food service locations could shut down so the district is encouraging everyone to participate.