NAUGATUCK — The annual Summer Food Service Program for Naugatuck Public Schools kicked off on Monday, June 20.
The federally funded program provides free meals for children 18 years of age and under in over nine locations. Naugatuck has been offering kids free lunch and breakfast for ten years.
Lunch is served at Naugatuck High School, Andrew Avenue Elementary School, Western Elementary School, Salem Elementary School, Hop Brook Elementary School, Early Childhood Center at Central Avenue, Maple Hill Elementary School, Baummer Pond, and the YMCA. Naugatuck High School is the only location that provides both breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast at Naugatuck High is from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., and lunch at all locations is from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Food must be picked up by the child and eaten on-site.
Kate Murphy, the food service director for Naugatuck Public Schools shared details regarding this year’s program and what children can expect.
“A meal includes a protein, a grain, a fresh fruit and vegetable, and a milk,” she said. “Some of the things we are serving this year are turkey sandwiches and yogurt parfaits that are made fresh everyday.”
Murphy said that there are 15 people that prepare and serve the meals.
“We use our elementary schools because those are neighborhood based,” said Murphy. “So we make sure that we are spread throughout the town.”
There is no registration required for this program, and any child under 18 can show up at any of the locations between the listed breakfast and lunch hours and be given a meal.
“Over time, we will see a pattern of the same kids that’ll come everyday, so we get an idea of how many will come to each site,” said Murphy. “We usually don’t have any leftover meals. We actually end up making more food.”
Murphy encourages parents to have their children participate in the Summer Food Service Program. “The kids can meet their friends that they go to school with that they don’t necessarily see during the summer and have a picnic lunch,” she said. “With the cost of food rising, this is an opportunity for parents to come down and get lunch and save their money for a different meal like dinner.”
The program guarantees a fresh nutritious meal everyday. Menus are posted daily to their Facebook page, No Kid Hungry in Naugatuck.
The program will run from now until Aug 12, with the exception of being closed on the Fourth of July.