WHEATLAND – As of last week, all children under the age of 18 in the Platte County School District No. 1 district are eligible for free breakfast and lunch through the end of December. Students who are enrolled in school but over 18 may still receive the free meals.
Due to recent changes in the Federal Food Programs, Platte County School District #1 has qualified to move all meal services to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Breakfast is available before school starts and lunch will be at the regular time. However, students who still wish to bring their lunch and just get milk will still have to pay for milk unless they take the entire meal due the program’s constraints and the nutritional counts required.
It’s still too early to tell if the students will start taking advantage of this windfall.
“It’s a great program and it’s something I’d love to see people taking advantage of,” said food service director Marie Allison. “We have seen a lot of children hungry when they are at school. Kids that are eating are much better at testing and make better grades.”
Remarks made on Facebook, around town and in the lunchrooms paint of picture of thrilled parents, but nonchalant kids. Some students still want to keep bringing their lunch from home.
“I like my mom’s stuff better,” remarked 4th grader Lexie Jones. “But I like the corn dogs, I might eat the school lunch then or when they have other stuff I like.”
Fellow 4th grader Belle Witt had a simpler response, “I just like food in general.”
Highschoolers are also taking a casual attitude. Commenting that they will see what is being served before they decide if they wish to partake or leave campus to find something else. However, there are probably some students who quietly and gratefully accept the food without drawing attention to themselves.
“I think it’s a pretty cool thing they are doing, to give free lunch,” explained sophomore David Bookout. “It could help a lot of people who are struggling right now.”
For children not enrolled in the regular schools or the virtual program, the meals may be requested by Friday before 2 p.m. the week before the following week. Simply contact the Food Service Department at (307) 322-3175. For non-enrolled children under 18; meal pickup for Wheatland will be available from 8:30 am to 9:00 am Monday and Wednesday at West Elementary School by the main front entrance. For Chugwater, these meals will be available for pickup at the school at 12:15 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. For Glendo, these meals will be available for pickup at the school at 10:45 am on Mondays and Wednesdays. The meals for pick up consist mostly of uncrustables, snackables or ham sandwiches for the time being.
The menu may be found at www.platte1.org and click on the Food Services Department under the Departments heading. For kids enrolled in person at the schools, tomorrow’s lunch is chicken tenders and fries – who’s hungry for free lunch?