A school district has transformed a bus to provide mobile dining for hungry kids during summer.
At the Winona Public Library, the bus arrives on weekdays, providing lunch to children up to 18 years of age who are missing out on the two meals a day they usually get in school during the academic year. Children do not have to be a Winona student to receive the free meal.
The summertime free breakfast and lunch program in Winona is part of the national effort by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Summer Food Service Program. Participating schools offer free breakfast and lunch in the summer months for students through partnership with the program. The school or organization is reimbursed by the USDA for the money spent on the meals.
More than 200 million meals will be served during the summer months throughout the United States, according to the USDA website. The Summer Food Service Program is the largest program of its kind in the United States.
Approximately 100 children a day will be served by the mobile dining car at the Winona Library.
“It’s more expensive for families when children are home for the summer,” said Jennifer Walters, director of School Nutrition Services for Winona Public Schools. “This helps stretch the dollar a little bit.”