JCPS offers free summer meals to anyone 18 and under - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JCPS offers free summer meals to anyone 18 and under

This summer, several dozen JCPS schools began serving breakfast and lunch free of charge as part of the district's Summer Food Service program. This summer, several dozen JCPS schools began serving breakfast and lunch free of charge as part of the district's Summer Food Service program.
The healthy meals, which are offered 100 percent free of charge, must meet federal nutrition guidelines. The healthy meals, which are offered 100 percent free of charge, must meet federal nutrition guidelines.
Tammy Miller Tammy Miller
Julia Bauscher Julia Bauscher

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As Jefferson County Public Schools leaders planned to vote on a measure that would provide free lunch for all students next fall, students throughout the district enjoyed free meals Tuesday. This summer, several dozen JCPS schools began serving breakfast and lunch free of charge as part of the district's Summer Food Service program.

From the messy to those with finicky tastes, Tammy Miller experiences many things as a nutrition manager for the summer food service program at Hawthorne Elementary.

"A lot of the sites are open to any of the children in the neighborhood," said Miller. "The only criteria is they must be 18 or under and they can come and have breakfast and then they can come back and have lunch."

The healthy meals, which are offered 100 percent free of charge, must meet federal nutrition guidelines.

"They have the fruit or the vegetable," said Miller. "They have the milk. They have the juice. They have a protein."

"We try to plan meals that are not only healthful but popular with kids," said Julia Bauscher, JCPS School and Community Nutrition Services Director.

Bauscher said the program, which runs through August 1, helped tackle the issue of hunger for thousands of youngsters daily.

"The average, last summer for lunch in our own program," began Bauscher, "we served around 4,000 students a day lunch and about 2,000 students a day breakfast. 

With breakfast and lunch offered at more than 50 sites throughout the district, Miller said over the years her lunchroom challenge had transformed from providing food to those in need to getting it into the stomachs of picky eaters.

"I've been with the board 14 full years," said Miller. "We can't make them eat it, but we sure do offer it."

That offer remains valid even after the free breakfast and lunch periods are over.

"They are allowed to take an item with them if they don't consume it at the site," said Bauscher.

Starting Wednesday, Bauscher said the school district would be one step further to ensure students did not go hungry over summer break by offering a JCPS Bus Stop café that visits neighborhoods and pools where students live and play.

For a complete list of summer food service locations, click here.

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