Mansfield youngsters can get a free hot breakfast and lunch this summer, even if they aren’t enrolled in the school district.
Through the Seamless Summer Option, ages 18 and younger can get free meals thanks to a federal grant. This will be the Mansfield district’s first year to participate in the program.
“The more we looked into it, the better it looked to us,” said Rita Denton, the district’s director of student nutrition. “We already had lunches for the summer school kids. Now the summer school kids get a free (meal), too.”
Kids can load up with pepperoni or cheese pizza, vegetables, juice, fruit and milk, or chicken nuggets, fries, an apple and a roll. All meals will be kid-friendly, Denton said, with a a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Only one entree will be served at each meal, though, she said, unlike during the regular school year when kids have a couple of options.
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Adults can purchase a meal for $3.50.
The program is mandatory for school districts with more than 50 percent of their students on free and reduced lunches, Denton said. The Mansfield school district has 40 percent of its students on free or reduced meals, but applied for the federal program and was approved, she said.
No local tax dollars are used, Denton said. The district is reimbursed $2.98 for each lunch served and $1.62 for each breakfast from USDA funds, she said.
The district will launch the Seamless Summer Option at the schools that are hosting summer school, Denton said, but the program could grow next year if it is a success.
“I look forward to the word spreading and the program growing,” Denton said. “There are so many kids in the summer who miss their school breakfasts and lunches.”
Meals will be offered at:
Alice Ponder Elementary, 101 Pleasant Ridge Drive: 8:15-9 a.m. and 12:05-1:05 p.m. weekdays June 10-30
Charlotte Anderson Elementary, 5615 Fox Hunt Drive, Arlington: 9:20-10 a.m. and noon-12:45 p.m. weekdays June 10-30
James Coble Middle School, 1200 Ballweg Road, Arlington: 8:45-9:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. weekdays June 10-13
James Coble Middle School, 1200 Ballweg Road, Arlington: 8:30-9 a.m. and noon-1 p.m. weekdays July 8-17
Alice Ponder Elementary, 101 Pleasant Ridge Drive; 8:35-9:05 a.m. and noon-12:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday July 20-Aug. 6
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451
For more information, go to www.mansfieldisd.org.