Access to nutritious meals won’t be an issue for area youth this summer as schools in Scottsbluff and Gering and the Carpenter Center prepare to offer meals.
Summer catering sites open from May 31 to July 29
|Bluffs College||10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.|
|Lincoln Heights||10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.|
|Westmoor||11:25 a.m. to noon (only open until June 24)|
|West Park Trails*||11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.|
|Veterans Park*||Noon to 12:45 p.m.|
|d Scottsbluff Public Library*||12:10 p.m. to 12:40 p.m.|
|Christian community||11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (Breakfast provided from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.)|
|Scottsbluff High School*||11:30 a.m. to noon|
Scottsbluff Public Schools will kick off their summer food service program on Tuesday, May 31. The district’s food service management company, Taher, will provide free meals at six locations for children 18 and under. Adults can purchase a meal for $4.50.
Snacks will also be provided from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at SBPS schools, with the exception of Scottsbluff High School, for children 18 and under. Snacks are $3.55 and breakfast is $3.85 for adults.
In addition to summer meal offerings at schools, the district will offer mobile locations around town that will also serve meals and snacks. Hot meals will be provided at schools, with packed lunches offered at mobile locations. These places include Trails West Park, Veterans Park, and Lied Scottsbluff Public Library. The Christian Community School will not provide snacks, but will provide breakfast from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Access to snacks is also open to community members.
People also read…
Tiffany Kasza, administrative assistant at Taher, said this year’s program will return to pre-pandemic operations and regulations.
“So we won’t have take-out meals anymore,” Kasza said. “Attendees are encouraged and required to stay on site for their meals.”
The summer program will allow Scottsbluff children to receive meals in their elementary attendance area as well as stay connected with friends and district staff.
“We start on Tuesday and we’ll be in the community,” Kasza said. “It’s good that the children come to see us. We miss them during the summer.
The summer meal program has been offered for several years, which Kasza says is important for young people.
“During the summers most of the time people are on the go,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity if you’re about to grab some lunch for your kid. Coming also keeps friendships going, as it gives the kids the chance to get out and grab a meal before heading into the summer.
According to the district’s press release, “The requirements for acceptance and participation in the program are the same for everyone, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender or disability.”
Gering Public Schools will also offer a summer meal program from May 25 to June 30.
Throughout the week, children ages 1 to 18 can enjoy free breakfast and lunch at Gering High School, located at 1500 U St. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Adults can purchase a meal for $4.
Matt Carpenter, executive director of the Carpenter Center, said the center will once again offer its summer meal program to youth 18 and under. The program begins on June 6. An end date has not been determined and will be aligned with the start of the school year, Carpenter said.
“We really think it’s important in this neighborhood to be able to provide nutritious meals for kids, who might not be able to get to school during the summer,” Carpenter said. “We can be a closer place for them.”
The center has been offering take-out meals for a few years, but will resume traditional on-site meal offerings.
“Families can just show up,” he said, adding that meals will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. “This year we have returned to supervised feeding, so children will have to eat on site. We will have tables and chairs set up in the community area.
Meals are also available for children with dietary restrictions. They can notify the instructor or the chef and replacements will be made if necessary.
“I just hope it gives young people a place to come and have a healthy meal,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity for them to make new friends with that social aspect as well.”
The Carpenter Center lunch program operates similarly to the school district program; however, they have their own cook and will have a different menu.
Both programs will publish menus online and through the Taher Food 4 Life app. The app is the same one used by families during the school year.