Airway Heights Parks and Recreation continues free summer meals
Although school is out for the summer, children will have a chance to get free meals during the summer.
Airway Heights Parks and Recreation is once again offering free meals at the community center, for children 18 years of age and younger, Monday through Friday, from June 16 to Aug. 22. Breakfast will be served from 8-8:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services director J.C. Kennedy said the city has offered meals to children for the last 14 years. The city collaborates with Spokane Public Schools, who is a sponsor of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program. According to the USDA website, the goal of the program is to provide free, balanced meals for summer schools, camps and other organizations that provide activities for children during the summer.
Kennedy said that many children who receive free and reduced breakfast and lunch do not get the same nutrition in the summer as they get during the school year, which can be a detriment to their learning.
During the morning, a staff member picks up the meals from Rogers High School and brings them back to the community center.
Airway Heights Parks, Recreation and Community Services supervisor Andy Gardner said the number of children who eat free meals has fluctuated over the years.
“Some days it’s been up to 50 while other years, it’s been around 20,” Gardner said “But the number isn’t as important as the service the program provides.”
Gardner said the free meals program is one of the “great things” the city does during the year.
“It’s become something we’re always going to do because of the purpose it serves and the impact it has on kids,” Gardner said.
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.