This summer, children and teens in Delaware County and the surrounding area are invited to receive free breakfast and lunch at Lambert Elementary, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.

According to Dr. Kristen Rickey, superintendent for the West Delaware School District, the USDA reached out to the district three years ago to offer the program. The Summer Food Service Program is a federally-funded, state-administered program that reimburses the district for all costs associated with the summer meals.

In 2018, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provided more than 1.5 million nutritious meals and snacks to children during the summer when school was not in session, according to the USDA website.

While the meals will be served at a West Delaware school, Rickey points out that anyone under the age of 18 is invited to eat with the program, regardless of family income, school district, or any other factor.

“This program has nothing to do with income restrictions or student status,” says Dr. Rickey. “Anyone under the age of 18 is invited to participate.” Rickey hopes that daycare providers, families, and any other community organizations can bring their children for free, nutritious meals.

While the program will serve people of any age, Rickey points out that baby food will not be served. In addition, those over the age of 18 are asked to pay a small fee.

Meals will be served Monday through Friday at the Lambert Elementary Commons at 1001 Doctor Street in Manchester. The program runs from June 10 to Aug. 9, 2019, but will be closed from July 1-12. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to partake in healthy, nutritious meals at no cost,” says Rickey.