The Roundup -

By Sam Shaw 

Summer Nutrition Opportunities in our Community

 


This summer, there’ll be a new food truck in town. The Boys & Girls Club of Richland County will be running a Mobile Summer Food Program out of a food trailer, kindly provided at cost by B & B Trailers.

In partnership with Montana No Kid Hungry and the Office of Public Instruction, the trailer will be serving two free meals for children each day: breakfast at the Richland County Housing Authority – next to West Side School – and lunch at the parks nearest the major public housing sites. Many children rely on school meals to get the nutrition they need. During the summer, they may get fewer square meals, contributing to learning loss and behavioral issues. The new mobile summer food program addresses this issue.

“We can go directly to the kids who need us most in the areas that are convenient for them,” said Janelle Buxbaum, program director at the Boys & Girls Club and last year’s summer meals director. In years past, summer meals were served at Central Elementary School – too far, geographically, from the neediest kids. This led to hungry children showing up on the doorstep of the Richland County Housing Authority.

Boys & Girls Club has also run the backpack food program, which sends needy children home with no-prep foods each weekend. “Students arrive to school on Monday, or after a long break, ready to learn,” said Sara Romo, principal at Central Elementary School, when speaking of the impact of the program.

“This is part of our commitment to making sure no child goes hungry in Richland County,” said Elaine Stedman, Boys & Girls Club CEO, “not just the children who are members of our Club.”

The Club will prepare meals – in accordance with federal nutritional standards – at the kitchen of Peoples’ Congregational Church, then use the food trailer to take them to the service sites. The Club is also seeking volunteers for food preparation, service, and to help run educational programming for the kids after lunch.

Meals will be provided for free to anyone 18 and under and at a low cost to adults. Breakfast will be served Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Richland County Housing Authority Community Room. The food trailer will be delivering freshly prepared packaged meals from 11 – 11:30 a.m. in the Housing Authority’s parking lot; 12 – 12:20 p.m. at Lyndale Park; and 12:40 – 1 p.m. at Water Tower Park every weekday starting June 11 through July 31.

The Richland County Nutrition Coalition supports healthy meals throughout the community and is excited to see the program grow to help the community with free nutritious meal for kids in the summer. Visit the Richland County Nutrition Coalition Facebook page this summer to get updates on where the trailer will be and what they will be serving.

 

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