For most kids, summer means carefree days. But for some children, no school means wondering where their next meal is coming from. Several local organizations are teaming up this summer to make sure kids have access to healthy and nutritious meals.
The Westonka Foodies will be hosting a Free Summer Meals program again this year. Breakfast and lunch will be provided Mondays through Thursdays from June 10 through 20, and again July 8 through August 15 at Mound Westonka High School. Breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., and lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. No registration or sign-up is required for this meal program, which serves all children 18 years and younger.
“For too many children, the end of the school year means an end to the free meals they depend on throughout the year,” said Laura Metzger, Westonka Public Schools director of food and nutrition services. “But along with fighting hunger, summer nutrition programs support quality programming for young people. We see many kids eating lunch on a daily basis with friends and family, and we’re happy to provide the nutrition that children need to fuel their day.”
To supplement the free meals, WeCAN will be offering the Kids’ Food Bag Program again this summer. Families in need are welcome to come in to the WeCAN office at 5213 Shoreline Drive in Mound each week during the summer to get a bag of kid-friendly food for each school-aged child in their family. The Kids’ Food Bag Program will run from June 3 to August 29.
For more information, contact WeCAN at (952) 472-0742 and ask about the Kids’ Food Bag Program. WeCAN is accepting donations of “kid-friendly” food for the program like cereal, macaroni and cheese, soup, crackers, fruit cups, juice boxes and healthy snacks.
In addition, the Sheridan Story is a partner in the summer program by providing over 700 bags of non-perishable food to include in the WeCAN food bags. The Sheridan Story’s sole purpose is to make sure children have the food they need to learn and grow. They focus on the weekend food gap - when children don’t have access to the meal programs at school.
For more information on the Sheridan Story, contact Metzger at (952) 491-8084.
Families in need of additional food resources should visit the Westonka Food Shelf at 2385 Commerce Boulevard or call (952) 472-5599.