When Peabody-Burns school district signed on with Kansas Food Bank in Wichita to provide free summer lunches to any child age 1 to 18, the plan was to try the program from the last week in May until July 3. While hoping such a program would fill a need and be successful, district officials did not want to commit to a full summer of meals that no one wanted to eat.
At the end of the school year, the district sent sample meals home with pre-kindergarten through middle school children to familiarize parents and summer care-givers with the contents of the meal.
“The kids have told (volunteer coordinator) Beth Peter they think the meals are good and as long as we have steady numbers and volunteers who still are willing to serve, there is no reason to cancel at this point,” Peabody-Burns Superintendent Ron Traxson said.
From the first week, the free lunch program has served between 15 and 20 students a day.
“Quite frankly, we had hoped it would bring in more children,” Traxson said. “But our expectations might have been a little high. The numbers have been fairly steady and that is a plus.”
Meals must be eaten on site and volunteers supervise food distribution and cleanup as well as keep track of how many are served.
Meals are served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the multipurpose room at Peabody-Burns Elementary School.
The program will continue until the end of July.