Huntsville Summer Feeding Program Participation Shocks Director

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Huntsville school officials anticipate that they will have served more than 70,000 meals by the end of the day Friday as part of the inaugural Summer Feeding Program.

At the end of breakfast Friday, the district had served exactly 67,753 meals to children, said Joey Vaughn, director of the school district's Child Nutrition Program.

And the program, which kicked off June 3, still has nearly a month to go, Vaughn said. It will run through July 26.

"We want to remind people that the meal program is for any child ages 18 and under and they do not have to be enrolled in any type of program," Vaughn said. "Simply show up at one of the schools during serving time and eat."

All 12 serving sites will be closed on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5 for the holiday. Operations will resume on Monday, July 8.

Breakfast and lunch are being served at Highlands, Lakewood, Martin Luther King Jr., McDonnell, Montview, Morris and University Place elementary schools, Chapman P-8, and Butler and Johnson high schools.

Breakfast is being served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and lunch is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Davis Hills and Westlawn middle schools are serving dinner from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The meals are free to all children, regardless of whether they are enrolled in a Huntsville school. Parents can eat with their children for a cost of $2.50 for breakfast and $4 for lunch or dinner.

The Huntsville district is the first in Alabama to provide all three meals to children through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. The USDA program is funding the majority of the program.

To learn more about the program, click here.

Vaughn goes through the funding process, “We literally count heads.  Every child that comes through gets marked off, so we get reimbursed a certain dollar amount per child for breakfast, a certain dollar amount for lunch.  And then we charge the adults.  So that money coming in has to pay all our expenses.”

There are no requirements to participate, other than age restrictions.  Adults may pay to eat when accompanied by a child.

Any child age 18 or under can eat free at one of the designated schools.  The USDA will reimburse Huntsville City Schools for all meals served to children 18 and under who meet Federal nutritional guidelines.

The menus which will be used for the Summer Feeding Program are the same menus served during the school year.

The following 10 schools will offer a hot breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. as well as a hot lunch from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.:

M.L.K. Elementary
Morris Elementary
Highlands Elementary
Montview Elementary
University Place Elementary
McDonnell Elementary
Lakewood Elementary
Chapman Middle School
Butler High School
Johnson High School

The following two schools will offer a hot supper from 3:30 p.m. til 5:30 p.m.:

Davis Hills Middle School
Westlawn Middle School

Huntsville City Schools want to make sure all families know about this program.  Please use the share links above to let your friends know about it via email and social media.

For additional information regarding the Summer Food Service Program, please visit the USDA website.

(Our news partners at The Huntsville Times contributed to this report)

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