School to offer free meals to all students

FAIRMONT – It turns out, there is such a thing as a free lunch – and breakfast.

Starting today, kids 18 and under are invited to Fairmont Elementary to enjoy a free breakfast and lunch, Mondays through Thursdays until Aug. 1.

The dates coincide with the school’s Targeted Services summer school program, but it isn’t just for the students taking part in the classes.

Assistant principal Michelle Rosen said the meals are available because the high number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch pricing hit a threshold, triggering the Summer Food Service Program.

Typically more than 50 percent of elementary students qualify for the low-income meals during the school year. The number is slightly lower at the high school level.

The district will be compensated for the costs of the meals, which fall within the National School Lunch nutrition guidelines.

Youths who come to eat are not required to provide any kind of identification or income proofs.

“It is for anyone under 18,” Rosen said. “It is an open site for food.”

This is the second year the program has been held at the elementary school, but turnout from the community was lower than expected last year.

“It would be really great if we could have kids from the community come and eat,” Rosen said.

The meals will be served to all students participating in summer school as well as community children not in summer school.

Breakfast will be served from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon until 12:30 p.m.

Thursday lunches will feature a meal with an international theme, in keeping with the overall summer school theme.

Rosen said each class will focus on a different country during the weeks of class and prepare a presentation table for an end of summer school Taste of the Nations fair.

“Each group will have information about their country, a little food from there, the flag,” said Rosen. “They will share it with the other classes.”

The meal for July 11 will feature a Mexican theme, July 18 will have an “All American” theme, and July 25 an Italian theme.