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Empty classrooms, full stomachs

Empty classrooms, full stomachs

The Turlock Unified School District will provide free summer meals to students 18 and under at three school sites and three parks.

POSTED May 21, 2013 11:29 p.m.

Although many classroom seats will be empty for Turlock schools this summer, stomachs will not.

Beginning on June 6 and ending July 19, the Turlock Unified School District will be taking part in the “Seamless Summer Program,” in an attempt to provide food for those low-income students who go hungry during the summer. The summer program will offer breakfast and lunch on weekdays.

Scott Soiseth, TUSD director of child nutrition, said that for many of these students, the only consistent meals they receive are when school is in session.

“The program is an attempt to bridge the gap between the school year and the end of the summer,” said Soiseth. “For many of these kids, school lunch is the only meal they get throughout the day.”

 The program, which will feed up to an estimated 1,500 students a day, is a federally funded extension of the National School Lunch program that provides a more streamlined approach to feeding students during the summer.

Unlike the program that is applicable during the school year, the summer program provides food assistance to students without any prior qualification. 

The lunch and breakfast will be open to any student under the age of 18 without the need for any sort of prior requirement.  

“It would be easy to not to do it. But the need for food is still great,” said Soiseth.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in order for a school to qualify for the program the need for free lunches must apply to 50 percent of students during the school year. 

The Turlock Unified School District has a rate of 58.9 percent.

The distribution locations will include three separate school sites: Turlock High School, Crowell Elementary and Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy. 

The food will also be available at three park sites as well: Columbia, Sunnyview and Broadway parks.

Breakfast will be served at the school locations from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Park serving time will only be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information regarding the Seamless Summer Program, contact Scott Soiseth at 667-9048.


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