Riley County commissioners approved an agreement between the county health department and USD 383 Monday morning that will allow the use of the health department building as an additional site to provide a summer feeding program for children 18 years and younger this year.
Established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Program, the plan provides free meals for low-income children during the summer when school is not in session. USD 383 is a qualifying sponsor of the program.
Riley County Health Department Director Brenda Nickel said the school district approached her and informed her that the area north of the health department’s location is in an area with many children who would qualify for the program, according to census data.
“We have a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “It’s an exciting, good thing to do that really has no fiscal impact on the department.”
Chairman Bob Boyd shared Nickel’s enthusiasm.
“I think it’s very exciting,” Boyd said. “It’s available and the public needs to know. It’s free food for our children.”
Meals will begin June 1 and end Aug. 8. and are prepared by the school district, where they will be transported from each day.
Hours for the lunches will be Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held in the west end of the department’s Family and Child Resource Center. The site designation allows the health department to be a feeding site through 2019.
Adults are also allowed access to the lunches, but must pay $3.40 per meal.