They say there’s no free lunch, but try telling that to the hundreds of Miami-Dade kids who are eating cost-free lunches this summer. It’s part of a new program designed to feed disadvantaged children who would normally be on free lunch during the school year.
In the summer months, families who don’t have access to summer school or a camp in their neighborhoods are left on their own.
“We wanted to look for a way that we could fill in that gap that you’re talking about because so many students don’t have an opportunity to have a balanced meal during the summer weeks when school is out,” said Olga Botero, the executive director of the Miami-Dade School District’s Department of Food and Nutrition.
The meals are simple. Monday’s menu was turkey sandwich, apple sauce, orange juice, and a cheese stick. Simple, but the kids have simple tastes.
“It’s really cool, because at home you might not eat real good stuff,” said Dairis Cardona, a nine-year-old.
Daniel Luna, who is 13, agreed, saying, “Yeah, it was really good, I liked it.”
It’s healthy, and funded by a grant from the USDA. Miami-Dade Public Schools is doing the mobile feedings at six schools: North County K-8, Phillis Wheatley Elementary, Meadowlane Elementary, Campbell Drive K-8, Oak Grove Elementary, and Ada Merritt K-8.
So far, parents are loving it. Claudia Flores told us in Spanish, “It’s a very positive initiative, it’s very convenient, these are families with low incomes who really benefit from this.”