Free summer meal programs begin this month

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The Kalispell Public Schools food truck will hit the road Wednesday, June 13, to serve free lunches to children 18 and under through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. The truck was purchased through a No Kid Hungry grant. In addition to Kalispell, other school districts and organizations have sponsored summer meals sites in Bigfork, Evergreen, Kila, Polson and Whitefish. Several locations begin serving breakfast and lunch on Monday, June 11. (Photo by Johnny Pena).

The last bell has rung and school is out for summer, but that doesn’t mean children have to go hungry.

The free summer meals program begins this month with several sites beginning service on June 11 as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program and sponsored by local school districts or organizations.

Children 18 and under are invited to eat and participate in activities at locations in Bigfork, Evergreen, Kalispell, Kila, Whitefish and Polson, which have finalized serving times and sites. No registration, proof of income or identification is required to participate.

Although the free meals are served to all children, the aim of the program is to increase participation of children from low-income families whose access to healthy food may be limited over the summer.

This summer, Kalispell Public Schools will roll out it’s new food truck purchased this year through a No Kid Hungry $15,000 grant. The food truck was added to the district’s summer meals program in order to add more sites and reach children who may not be able to access the program because of a lack of transportation. Kalispell will have a total of eight sites, an increase from three last year. Another change is that only one site, Woodland Park, will serve breakfast. All other locations will serve lunch.

From 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15, families are invited to Kalispell Public Schools’ kickoff event. At each site there will be free activities such as games, face painting, dancing and arts and crafts. Gov. Steve Bullock is slated to speak at noon in Depot Park according to Johnny Pena an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving No Kid Hungry in Kalispell.

Following is site information and serving times:

Bigfork

Meals are served Monday through Friday, June 11 through Aug. 17.

• Bigfork ACES, 801 Grand Drive.

Breakfast — 8 to 8:45 a.m.

Lunch — 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Bigfork ACES. For more information call 406-837-3414.

Evergreen

Meals are served Monday through Friday, July 9 through Aug. 17.

• Evergreen Arrows, 315 E. Evergreen.

Breakfast — 8 to 8:45 a.m.

Lunch — 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Bigfork ACES. For more information call 406-837-3414.

Kalispell

Meals will be served June 13 through Aug. 17.

The following sites will serve meals Monday through Friday:

• Woodland Park, 45 North Woodland Ave.

Breakfast — 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Lunch — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Gateway Community Center, 1203 US 2.

Lunch — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The food truck will stop for roughly 20 minutes at the following sites to serve lunches Monday through Friday:

• Northridge Park, will be stationed on Northridge Drive at 10:45 a.m.

• Lawrence Park, will be stationed in first lot to entrance at 11:10 a.m.

• Courthouse Park, will be stationed on Eighth Street West at noon.

• Washington Park, will be stationed on Oregon Street and Sixth Avenue West North at 12:25 p.m.

• Hawthorne Park, will be stationed on Hawthorne Avenue and Liberty Street at 12:50 p.m.

The food truck will also stop at Depot Park on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

• Depot Park, will be stationed in the parking lot at 11:35 a.m.

Sponsored by Kalispell Public Schools, for more information call 406-212-2811.

Kila

Meals are served Monday through Friday, July 9 through Aug. 17.

• Kila School, 395 Kila Road.

Breakfast — 8 to 8:45 a.m.

Lunch — 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Bigfork ACES. For more information call 406-837-3414.

Polson

Meals will be served Monday through Friday at the following sites:

• Cherry Valley Elementary, 107 Eighth Ave. W. Meals served June 11 through Aug. 3.

Breakfast — 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Lunch — 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

• CSKT Early Childhood Services, 37181 Turtle Lake Loop. Meals served Friday June 18 through Aug. 3.

Lunch — 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

• Polson Middle School, 160 Second Ave. W. Meals will be served for two weeks tentatively beginning July 16, depending on the cherry harvest.

Breakfast — 8 to 10 a.m.

Lunch — 11 a.m. to noon.

Sponsored by Polson School District. For more information call 406-883-6333.

Whitefish

All locations serve meals Monday through Friday, June 11 through Aug. 24.

• Skate park, 305 Armory Road Whitefish.

Breakfast — 9 to 9:30 a.m.

Lunch — 11 to 11:30 a.m.

• Kiddie Park, located between Fifth Street and Central Avenue

Lunch — 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• City Beach, located on Lakeside Boulevard.

Lunch is served from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Whitefish School District. For more information call 406-862-8620.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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