Just because school is out for the summer, doesn't mean the kitchen is closed at many schools. Schools across Alabama participate in summer feeding programs, where children can get breakfast and lunch on a daily basis.
Tuscaloosa County Schools is just one of the systems that conducts a summer feeding program. Organizers say parents are busy during the summer and this is a way to make sure students maintain a regular, healthy eating pattern while they are out of school. Tuscaloosa County Schools Child Nutrition Director Kimberly Jackson says anyone under age 18, not just students in the system, can come to the schools and eat for free. Adults are charged the price of a normal school meal.
Jackson says the summer meals also continue the recent effort of making school meals more nutritious. "We're trying to make them much healthier now, by offering more whole grain products, which, number one, increases the fiber and makes kids more full. We also want to give them more fruits and vegetables."
Jackson said this often involves familiar foods with a healthy twist. "At some schools, they'll have a sausage biscuit, and it will be on a whole grain biscuit. And some of these products, although they say whole grain, they're actually pretty tasty."
For a list of Tuscaloosa County Schools participating in the summer feeding program and meal times, visit www.tcss.net.
The Tuscaloosa City Schools is also offering a summer food service program June 5 – July 18 at the following schools: Arcadia Elementary, Central Elementary, Eastwood Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Northington Elementary, Oakdale Elementary and Westlawn Middle School. Breakfast will be served 7 to 8 a.m. , and lunch will be served 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals are free to children 18 and under.
Many other cities and counties are offering similar programs. Check with your local school system for more details.
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