Dist. 32 serves over 11,200 lunches at summer scho

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Monday, July 9, 2012
Lois Martin serves a healthy lunch to Cole Richardet. Over 11,200 lunches were served during June’s summer food program, provided through a grant from the Department of Health and Senior Services.

From milk to meatball sub sandwiches and carrot sticks to cookies, children found something delicious to enjoy every day in June, thanks to the free summer food program atPerryCountySchool District32.

"The district was able to offer this free food service program through grant funding from the Department of Health and Senior Services," said Assistant Superintendent Russell Leek. "Any school-aged child (ages 5-21) who lives inPerryCountycould receive a free breakfast or lunch during our summer school session held June 4-29."

On average, about 600 students per day took advantage of the free lunch, for a total of 11,212 meals served, according to Food Services Director Angie Gotto. Students who participated in remedial summer school,CampCuriosityand Summerscape were all invited to eat in the elementary school cafeteria as well.

"We also served 4,566 breakfasts during those 20 days, which is just over 220 per day," said Gotto, who prepared the breakfasts each morning. Her summer crew arrived at 7 am each day to serve breakfast, clean up and begin lunch preparations.

"Basically, we prepared 3 different lunches each day," she said. "We served prepared meals for the students who were going on bus trips, cold sandwich meals for the children who were walking on field trips and hot lunches that we served in the cafeteria. We served all lunches within a 2-hour period and fed students from pre-kindergarten through high school. I have a great staff; they work hard to get all the children fed.

"It sounds like a lot of work, and it was, but it was also a lot of fun. We really enjoy having the children in for the summer. This is our fifth year of participating in the summer food program, and it's gotten better every year."

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