Moorhead Public Schools program offers summertime meals to kidsMOORHEAD – Angela Williams is the pied piper of lunchtime.
By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM
MOORHEAD – Angela Williams is the pied piper of lunchtime.
The Moorhead Public Schools employee visits five parks a day as part of the Summer Food Service Program. For many kids, she brings the one nutritious meal they can count on in a day, she said.
At Bennett Park on Thursday, children were waiting on the swings and descended on her car as she pulled out milk, cut fruit and bag lunches and turned the trunk into an impromptu lunch line.
“I’m really amazed at what the need was,” Williams said.
“We could probably maybe even serve another 50 to 60 kids; maybe even 100” in the parks.
The program, now in its fourth year, serves lunch to about 525 children ages 1 to 18 every day between the schools and parks, officials said. Breakfast is also served at schools and one site offers dinner once a week. The program is paid with state and federal funds.
The school district took it on because it has the facilities, said Deb Pender-Tilleraas, who manages the district’s alternative programs.
“We were very interested in the idea that we were able to serve the community,” Pender-Tilleraas said. “As long as there is a way to fund it, why not?”
The program also distributes about 100 food-filled backpacks for the Great Plains Food Bank’s weekend nutrition program, she said.“It’s been kind of invigorating,” she said.
At Horizon Middle School, Barb Mohs set up the bag lunches on a cart. She served 40 children in about 20 minutes Thursday. Hot lunch the day before pulled in 50 kids, she said.
“I think there’s a lot more people that could benefit from this,” Mohs said.
There are no income requirements for the program. Any child who walks up to any site will be fed, Pender-Tilleraas said.
Meals are offered here until Aug. 29:
• Robert Asp Elementary School. Breakfast 8 to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Lunch 11 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
• Ellen Hopkins Elementary School. Breakfast 8 to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.
• S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School. Breakfast 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Lunch is served 11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Meals are also served at these school sites:
• Horizon Middle School, Breakfast 7:30 to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday until July 3. Breakfast resumes July 15-31 from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Lunch 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday until July 3. Lunch resumes July 15-31 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
• Moorhead High School. Breakfast 7:30 to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday until Aug. 1. Lunch noon to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday until Aug. 1.
• Red River Area Learning Center. Breakfast 8 to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday until Aug. 12. Lunch 11 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday until Aug. 12. Supper 6 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays until Aug. 19.
Lunch is served at these mobile sites Monday to Thursday until Aug. 12:
• Queens Park, 11 to 11:25 a.m.
• Arrowhead Park, 11:45 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
• Romkey Park, 12:30 to 12:55 p.m.
• Bennett Park, 1:15 to 1:35 p.m.
• Mobile Manor Motor Home Park, 2 to 2:30 p.m.
All sites are closed July 4-5.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583