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Free meal program slated for summer

CCSD will offer the program at at least four locations June to late August


by: KEVIN SPERL - Charlene Osborne wraps burritos for lunch in the district production kitchen. Osborne will be part of the team producing food for the summer meals program.

Apparently there is such a thing as a free lunch, and breakfast too, at least in Crook County.

Starting as early as June 16, and ending on August 22, the Crook County School District will be offering free meals for all resident’s, aged 18 and under, at a variety of places throughout the city, courtesy of the USDA.

According to Nutrition Services Manager Dana Rudy, the summer meals program is meant to reach kids who do not have other reliable food sources when school is out.

“In Crook County, our school attendance is over 60 percent for students that qualify for free or reduced lunch,” she said. “Because of that we can provide free meals to the community.”

A number of local organizations will also benefit from the program including Kids Club, Big Brother, Big Sister and the newly launched Kiwanis summer school. Other programs that will be included are the High School summer school at Pioneer, the community pool and Lutheran Community Services.

Ashley Thrasher, Kids Club director, thinks the program is a great addition to her program.

“We have about 35 members that come every day during the summer,” she said. “To be able to feed our kids breakfast and lunch is a great benefit,” she said. “Parents also appreciate not having to pack a lunch as they run out the door.”

Rudy wants to be sure everyone knows that each of the sites receiving the free meals is open to the general public.

“It is a requirement of the USDA that we be available to everyone in the community,” said Rudy. “The only requirement is that the food be eaten on site.”

To provide enough food for these sites, Rudy has planned on preparing over 300 meals for both breakfast and lunch, something she has a lot of experience with.

“In Santa Rosa, CA. where I used to work, we served the whole county in conjunction with the Food Bank,” she said. “We prepared 4,000 meals a day.”

Rudy has ambitious goals for the program here in Prineville as well.

“I would like to get to where we serve most of the kids, and their siblings,” she said. “I just need to know where they are going to be during the summer.”

Kiwanis member Wayne Looney feels the free meals are a significant addition to his organization’s fledgling summer school.

“Free food is always a good thing and not only will kids taking part in the school get fed, but their siblings as well,” he said. “There are a lot of undernourished kids here, so it is a real asset for us and those families.”

Even though summer is just around the corner, Rudy is willing to add other sites, if needed, as long as she knows by June 15.

“The biggest help to me would be anyone who knows where kids are getting together for the summer,” she said. “Any place we use needs to pass a health inspection and have places to sit.”

The free summer meals program will be available at the following locations. All sites will be closed on July 4. For a list of menus, go to the district website at www.crookcounty.k12.us and click on the Department link for Nutrition Services. For more information contact Dana Rudy at 541-447-3743.

Cecil Sly Elementary School Cafeteria:

Monday through Friday, June 16 to August 22

Breakfast 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Lunch 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Pioneer High School

Monday through Thursday, June 23 to July 24

Breakfast 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Lunch 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Crook County Parks and Recreation Pool

Monday through Friday, June 16 to August 22

Lunch 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Lutheran Community Services Center

Monday through Friday, June 16 to August 22

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.




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