Source: Sherman Publications

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Program takes a bite out of nutrition gap

by Susan Bromley

May 30, 2012

Brandon Twp.- It turns out there really is a free lunch.

And breakfast, too.

For the first time ever, the Brandon School District Food Services Department will be able to offer free lunch and breakfast to members of the community this summer at Oakwood Elementary.

Food Services Director Suzanne Evenson explained that the Michigan Department of Education contacted her to let her know Oakwood could be a site for the summer food service program due to having more than 50 percent of students eligible to participate in the free and reduced price lunch program.

"During the school year, many children receive free and reduced price breakfast and lunch," she said. "What happens when school lets out? Hunger is one of the most severe blocks to learning and also makes children more prone to illness and other issues. The summer program fills the nutrition gap and makes sure they receive the nutrition they need."

The program will run from July 9 to Aug. 24 at Oakwood Elementary, 2839 Oakwood Road. Breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the school, to any children under the age of 18 who reside in the district, at no cost, regardless of household income.

The EXTRA tutoring program will be held at Oakwood at the same time, so while transportation to the school is not available, she expects to have many children to feed.

"We are looking at serving about 200 kids per day, both breakfast and lunch," said Evenson, who will be running the program along with Deb Rogers, satellite leader. "This will be a challenge, but I feel great about it. It's a great way to feed the children who really need to take advantage of this."

The summer feeding program will follow the same menu as the national school breakfast and lunch programs, serving food that is similar to what is served during the school year.

For more information, call Suzanne Evenson at 248-627-1828.