What do you do when school’s out for summer, but there are still hungry kids in that need to be fed? More than 22 million kids in the US qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and free breakfast during the school year based on their families’ income, but when school’s out for summer sometimes they have to go without. One school district in Virginia has come up with a unique solution to feeding kids in their school system free lunches all summer long — they bought a food truck.
Danville Public Schools, which serves about 5,000 lunches every day during the academic year, purchased a food truck for $42,000. Every Monday through Thursday, between 10:30 am and 1 pm, kids under 18 can eat there for free. Adults can get in on the action too, purchasing lunch for $3.65. All money earned will go back to funding the Child Nutrition program that’s behind the truck’s operations.
Though some might be skeptical about such a large ticket purchase for a school, it seems like the truck is already making an impact — it served 600 meals in its first week of operation. Even better, the school can use the truck throughout the year too, either as a means to continue to ensure that students get meals when school isn’t in session, as a means of fundraising or as a fun way to serve food at sporting games and other events.
The “summer nutrition gap” is a real problem. Kids who are forced to skip meals over break often return to school at a disadvantage compared to their peers due to undernourishment, so it’s great to see school districts mobilizing to make sure their kids get the food they need so they can be on equal footing when the next school year begins. Hopefully, the rest of the country takes note of what they’re doing in Danville Public School — and starts working toward a national solution to ending the summer nutrition gap.
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