Because many families have grown to depend on daily nutritious meals provided by campus cafeterias when school is in session, local school districts again are offering breakfast and lunch to students.
Ceres Unified School District provides free meals to boys and girls aged 1-18 over the summer months.
“There are a lot of kids that might not be able to eat during the summer,” said Rhonda Whitehead, director of child nutrition services for CUSD for the past nine years. “We want to make sure they’re being fed. We want every student to succeed. We all pitch in to do our part.”
Prep work started just after 6 a.m. on Monday inside Walt Hanline Elementary School’s kitchen.
More than 650 meals were transported to nearby Central Valley High School for consumption at 9:35 a.m., 10:05 a.m. and 10:40 a.m.
The lunch menu consisted of roasted barbecue chicken with mashed potatoes and cheese pizza.
“You don’t have to be enrolled in summer school to take advantage of this program,” said Whitehead. “It’s open to the public. All of our sites have gates up for security. You can go through the front office to get in.”
Breakfast and lunch is served from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., respectively, at all elementary sites, excluding Whitmore Charter, through the district’s June 5-29 Seamless Summer Feeding Program.
Meals will be available at all three junior highs, Mae Hensley, Blake Kinser and Chavez, through June 29 as well. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Lunch will offered from 12:05 p.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. through July 9 at Central Valley High School.
The summer school program closes on July 4.
Students enrolled in CUSD’s Summer School Program have different meals times.
Elementary students eat breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Junior high students are offered breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. High school students have three lunch periods: 9:35 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10:05 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
CUSD serves on average, 3,400 lunches and 1,400 breakfasts, daily.
Meals are served with fresh seasonal or canned fruit.
Students are required to take a one-half cup of fruits or vegetables with every meal.
Two milk choices are provided: one-percent white or non-fat chocolate.
“We follow the same standards of the National School Lunch Program,” Whitehead said. “All of the meals have to be compliant. They have to meet federal and state guidelines.”
For more information, visit www.ceres.k12.ca.us. Click on the business services drop-down menu and select child nutrition.