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School districts offer meals to students over summer break

TUCSON – School is almost out for the summer, which means students will not receive meals they rely on from local schools.

In the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) about 70 percent of students are on free or reduced meal plans.

Four out of five students are on free or reduced meal plans in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

“Nutrition and need for food doesn’t end when school gets out so we’re very grateful that we’re able to support our students and families this summer,” said Lindsay Aguilar, TUSD’s Administrative Dietitian.

TUSD has 80 sites where students can go to get breakfast and lunch. It is open and free to any kid under 18 years old.

“They’re still growing, so even though they aren’t in school, the nutrition that they need to have year-round is super important,” said Aguilar. “With the summer meal program, we follow the same nutrition guidelines as we do during the school year, so they’re going to have whole grains, lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, and milk.”

Aguilar encourages families to take advantage of the free meals this summer.

“Even if they’re home and there’s a school nearby, it’s open to any children, so even if you don’t attend that school normally and live across the street come on in,” Aguilar said. “It’s free meals so it’s one less thing that families have to worry about.”

Sunnyside School District has a similar program with 11 sites.

“Summer is a really difficult time for families,” said Victor Mercado, Sunnyside Spokesperson. “In our district, 4 out of 5 kids in our district are free and reduced lunch.”

Sunnyside’s summer meal program is also open to any kid 18 and younger. It is free and open to all kids regardless if they go to the school.

“I think another advantage to having the program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture is we know that they’re going to have healthy meals and there’s going to be vegetables and there’s gonna be fruits and it’s going to be a well-balanced meal for both breakfast and lunch,” said Mercado.

Parents can enjoy meals with their children too. Anyone older than 18 does have to pay, but it is only a few dollars.

For a list of sites and more information on TUSD’s meal program, go HERE.

For a list of sites and more information on Sunnyside’s meal program go HERE.

For information on Marana Unified School District’s summer meal program go HERE.

For information on Amphitheater’s summer meal program go HERE.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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