Janesville School District plans to expand free summer meal program
Years ago, the district began offering free summer meals to help students who get free or reduced-priced meals during the school year but might go hungry during the summer.
The summer program never covered every day of the summer, and it still won't. However, it will cover more.
The move comes at a time when the district is seeing more families qualifying for the National School Lunch
Most of the summer meal sites shut down after July 6, when the district's summer school ends, said James Degan, manager of food and nutrition services. This year, additional sites will be open through Aug. 16.
"In the past, when summer school ended, Janesville stopped (serving meals) except at Bond Park and the Boys & Girls Club," Degan said. "My thoughts were that there are still children who are not sure where they're going to get lunch or where they're going to eat that day till mom and dad get home, or whatever their situation is."
Degan targeted neighborhoods where the district has the highest percentage of students receiving free or reduced-priced lunch during the school year. The effort also gets help from Second Harvest.
Jackson Elementary School is one of the high-need areas, but it won't serve meals after July 6 because of roof repair work and parking lot construction, Degan said.
The Summer Food Service Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, pays for the meals.
"It's a federal program, so it's not going to cost any local taxpayers' money," Degan said.
Free meals will be available to eligible children 18 and younger. Those older than 18 who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year can get free meals, as well.
The expanded schedule is still not enough to cover all the weekdays until school begins again Sept. 4, Degan said.
Degan said meal sites could clash with school-preparation activities in late August, but if the expansion works well this year, he will consider expanding the dates in future years.
WHERE TO GO
These Janesville locations will serve free meals June 11-July 6. Those with an asterisk continue serving through Aug. 16:
-- Adams Elementary, 1138 E. Memorial Drive, 8-9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Bond Park Pavilion, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.*
-- Boys & Girls Club, 200 W. Court St., Noon-2 p.m.*
-- Edison Middle School, 1649 S. Chatham St., 9:15-10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Franklin Middle School, 450 N. Crosby Ave., 8:15-9:15 a.m.
-- Jackson Elementary, 441 Burbank Ave., 9:45-10:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Jefferson Elementary, 1831 Mount Zion Ave., 10-11 a.m.
-- Kennedy Elementary, 3901 Randolph Road, 8-9 a.m. and 10-11 a.m.
-- Madison Elementary, 331 N. Grant Ave., 8:45-9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Rock River Charter School, 31 W. Milwaukee St., 8:45-9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., through July 20.
-- Roosevelt Elementary, 316 S. Ringold St., 9-10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- TAGOS Leadership Academy, 1350 N. Parker Drive, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., through July 20.
-- Van Buren Elementary, 1515 Lapham St., 9:30-10:30 a.m.
-- Washington Elementary 8-9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
-- Wilson Elementary 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The new, extended-date sites will serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from July 9 through Aug. 16. They are Madison, Wilson and Adams elementary schools. Adams will not serve lunch during the Rock County 4-H Fair.