E.V. schools offer free meals in summer - East Valley Tribune: News

E.V. schools offer free meals in summer

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Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009 10:37 am | Updated: 2:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Hattie Harris brought her four children out Thursday to eat a free lunch and learn about a police motorcycle at Harris Elementary School in Mesa.

Harris plans to come to the Gilbert district school every weekday through the summer to feed her kids for free. The Mesa mom estimates a savings of at least $500.

“They’re always hungry, so this helps,” Harris said. “For them to be able to get a good meal for free, I’m very grateful for it.”

The Gilbert Unified School District, along with Chandler, Mesa and Apache Junction unified school districts, are offering free breakfasts and lunches for children 18 and younger at various locations throughout the East Valley. Children do not have to attend that school. Adults can also purchase a meal for a low price.

The free meals come at no cost to the school districts because the schools are reimbursed for the thousands of meals served through the Summer Food Service Program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Debbie McCarron, Gilbert’s food service director.

“We offer kid-friendly, nutritiously balanced meals that meet all the federal guidelines,” McCarron said. “It’s fun for the kids ... it really helps (families) out.”

With the tough economy, McCarron expects even more families to come out this summer. Gilbert’s free summer meal program began on Tuesday and runs through Aug. 7, depending on the site. Staff members are already serving double the number of meals from last year, McCarron said.

Gilbert offered the free meals last year at three schools, and this year expanded it to 10 sites, adding the free meals at schools with summer programs, McCarron said. Last year, Gilbert served 44,019 meals.

Marsha Bueler of Mesa brought her two children and four young friends to eat lunch Thursday at Harris. The Mesa mom said the kids think it’s “a lot of fun” to eat in the cafeteria, and it makes summertime “easier.”

“Free is always good,” Bueler said. “I think it’s a nice program. It seems to draw out lots of families. And they’re really excited about the police motorcycle.”

Along with the free meals, Gilbert is also hosting a Lunch and Learn series at Harris Elementary, with various activities throughout the summer to entice more families to come out. The other districts have special events planned as well.

On Thursday, Rick Osborn, a traffic officer with the Gilbert Police Department, showed off his BMW police motorcycle to a crowd of curious children and moms at Harris Elementary, talked about the importance of wearing a helmet, and explained the various items in his bulletproof-vest pockets.

Chandler Unified School District will offer free breakfast and lunch from June 8 to July 17 at 10 sites. New this year, Chandler will offer free snacks and dinner at Folley Pool and free breakfast at Arrowhead Pool.

Chandler has two less school sites offering free meals than last summer. Two of the schools weren’t offering summer programs, and it wasn’t cost effective to offer the free meals, said Tristine Bogle, Chandler’s food and nutrition supervisor.

“We’re offering fresh pizza this year (made by Chandler’s food services department),” Bogle said. “We’re hoping to feed a lot of kids.”

Last year, Chandler served 12,059 lunches, 6,951 breakfasts and 1,349 snacks, Bogle said.

The Mesa district offers the largest number of sites, and will serve meals at 27 schools, mainly from June 1-25. The district is offering more sites than last summer because more schools are offering summer programs, said Loretta Zullo, Mesa’s food and nutrition director.

“There’s such a great need in our community,” Zullo said. “Mesa Public Schools is a 50 percent (free and reduced-price lunch) district. If we didn’t have this, (the children) may not get three balanced meals, especially if their parents work.”

Last year, Mesa served 6,000 meals a day, Zullo said.

The Apache Junction Unified School District is offering free lunch June 1 to July 17 at Desert Shadows Middle School. Last year, the district offered the meals at three schools, but had to cut the sites to save costs, said district spokeswoman Betty Swanson.

Apache Junction served 9,513 free lunches last summer, Swanson said.

To qualify for the federal program, a school has to have 50 percent or greater who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. Queen Creek and Higley unified school districts are not able to offer the summer programs because they don’t qualify.

“We would have do it at no cost and lose money, or charge for it,” said Carol Weekly, Queen Creek’s director of food services.

However, Queen Creek does offer a free summer meal program for migrant students at Desert Mountain Elementary School, which is also through a federal program, Weekly said.

APACHE JUNCTION UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

(480) 982-1110, Ext. 2014

Adults with kids can buy lunch for $2.50.

Desert Shadows Middle School

801 W. Southern Ave., Apache Junction

June 1 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

CHANDLER UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

(480) 812-7240

Adults can buy breakfast for $2, lunch for $3 and a snack for 75 cents.

Bologna Elementary School

1625 E. Frye Road, Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Erie Elementary School

1150 W. Erie St., Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Galveston Elementary School

661 E. Galveston St., Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hartford Elementary School

700 N. Hartford St., Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Knox Elementary School

700 W. Orchid Lane, Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

San Marcos Elementary School

451 W. Frye Road, Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Arrowhead Pool

1475 W. Erie St., Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Folley Pool

600 E. Fairview Drive, Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Snack: 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday

Dinner: 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday

Chandler Boys and Girls Club

300 E. Chandler Blvd., Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Snack: 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

ICAN

201 S. Washington St., Chandler

June 8 to July 17

Monday to Friday

Lunch: 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Snack: 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

GILBERT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

(480) 497-3412

Adults can buy breakfast for $2 and lunch for $2.75.

Finley Farms Elementary School

375 S. Columbus Drive, Gilbert

May 27 to June 25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Lunch: noon to 1 p.m.

Gilbert Junior High School

1016 N. Burk St., Gilbert

May 26 to July 31

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Harris Elementary School

1820 S. Harris Drive, Mesa

May 26 to July 31

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Highland High School

4301 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert

June 2 to June 25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 6:45 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to noon

Highland Junior High School

6915 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert

May 26 to July 31

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Mesquite Elementary School

1000 E. Mesquite Road, Gilbert

May 26 to July 31

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Lunch: noon to 12:30 p.m.

Mesquite Junior High School

130 W. Mesquite St., Gilbert

May 26 to Aug. 7

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Oak Tree Elementary School

505 W. Houston Ave., Gilbert

June 1-25

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Lunch: noon to 1 p.m.

South Valley Junior High School

034 S. Lindsay Road, Gilbert

Now through July 31

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Gilbert Boys and Girls Club

44 N. Oak St., Gilbert

Now through Aug. 7

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

(480) 472-0900

Adults can buy breakfast for $1.25 and lunch for $3.

Brinton Elementary School

11455 E. Sunland Ave., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Eisenhower Elementary School

848 N. Mesa Drive, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emerson Elementary School

415 N. Westwood, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Field Elementary School

2325 E. Adobe St., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Guerrero Elementary School

463 S. Alma School Road, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hawthorne Elementary School

630 N. Hunt Drive, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Jordan Elementary School

3320 N. Carriage Lane, Chandler

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lehi Elementary School

2555 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa

Now through June 26

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lindbergh Elementary School

930 S. Lazona Drive, Mesa

June 1 to July 30

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Longfellow Elementary School

345 S. Hall, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lowell Elementary School

920 E. Broadway Road, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Madison Elementary School

849 S. Sunnyvale, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Porter Elementary School

1350 S. Lindsay Road, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Redbird Elementary School

1020 S. Extension Road, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Robson Elementary School

2122 E. Pueblo Ave., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Roosevelt Elementary School

828 S. Valencia, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Washington Elementary School

2260 S. Isabella Ave., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Webster Elementary School

202 N. Sycamore, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Whitman Elementary School

1829 N. Grand Ave., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Whittier Elementary School

733 N. Longmore, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Carson Junior High School

525 N. Westwood St., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Kino Junior High School

848 N. Horne, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Mesa High School

1630 E. Southern Ave., Mesa

June 1 to July 10

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Mesa Junior High School

828 E. Broadway Road, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Powell Junior High School

855 W. Eighth St., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Rhodes Junior High School

1860 S. Longmore, Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Friday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Taylor Junior High School

705 S. 32nd St., Mesa

June 1-25

Monday to Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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