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Summer food program offers free food and fun
The Bremerton School District’s summer food program is under way and everyone involved said it is good for young people and the community.
The program makes meals available at no charge to attending children 18 years of age and younger in multiple locations in the district.
Meals are served under compliance with federal law and standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Lisa Johnson, Child Nutrition Director for the district, said 61 percent of students enrolled in the Bremerton School District are eligible for free-or-reduced meals during the school year. The program continues to help the students when school is out.
“It is a great program,” she said. “When school meals are not available, our partners make sure kids have access to meals.”
Johnson said the program is a great way to ensure that young people have nutritious meals throughout the summer months and also offer activities for children and their families.
Kristina Grimes attends meals offered at the Evergreen Park in Bremerton with her daughter and three sons. Grimes said the program was not only a place to get a nutritious meal, but also an opportunity for her children to enjoy playing at the park.
“It’s a great program,” she said. “The kids get to play and be involved in other activities they offer.”
Grimes’ daughter Alexia said she especially liked it when the program offered crafts.
“I like the food and getting to play,” she said. “The crafts are fun, too.”
Nicole Miller, a volunteer for the program, said the numbers vary, but she has seen as many as 80 young people show up for the meals on a given day.
A meal served at Evergreen Park recently included a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, mixed vegetables, apple sauce, string cheese and milk.
Miller said volunteers and young people also clean up debris and trash in the park.
“The kids get a sense of pride in cleaning up the park,” she said. “It lets them give something back to the community.”