MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — School is wrapping up across Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but in some places, the cafeterias will stay open all summer long.
Select schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to children.
At the Hidden Valley Elementary School cafeteria in Savage, everyone has their preferences. On this final week of school, chicken nuggets and spicy chicken fingers are on the menu.
These are just a few of the offerings the active lunchroom will be churning out this summer.
“We have more than three out of four students who qualify for free or reduced lunch,” Kristine Black, principal of Hidden Valley, said. “So, what we want to make sure of is that all of our kids have healthy foods in the morning and in the afternoon, all summer long.”
As part of a USDA program, Hidden Valley will be one of a list of sites around the country that will offer free breakfast and lunch at the school Monday through Thursday for students who qualify and their siblings.
She explains, “We know that some of our students, when they leave school on Friday, don’t have a consistently healthy meal ’til they come back on Monday. So we want to make sure we are providing as much as we can.”
It’s a gesture the students themselves can recognize.
“I think it’s a good idea because sometimes families have a hard time providing food,” fifth-grader Anika Campbell said. “So you can just come to school and kinda get lunch and breakfast.”