Free breakfast and lunch will be available to all Watauga County children and youth ages 18 and under through summer nutrition programs at Cove Creek School and Mabel School.
The program at Cove Creek will operate Monday through Friday June 20 – August 5. The Mabel program will be open Monday through Thursday June 27 – August 4. Both sites will be closed July 4th.
Each school will serve breakfast between 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. and lunch from 12:00-1:00 p.m. for anyone 18 or under who comes to the school cafeteria accompanied by a parent or other adult. The meals must be consumed at the school; “take out” orders are not available.
The program is open to children residing in any part of Watauga County. Children do not have to live in the school attendance area to participate.
Adults will be able to purchase breakfast for $2.00 or lunch for $3.50, or can bring their own meal to eat with their children. The meals served will be similar to those served during the regular school year, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this support to local families and we encourage them to make use of the service ,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott. “We know that many families rely on school meals to keep their children well nourished during the school year. Offering the same service during the summer is a great way to help ensure these students will return to school healthy and ready to learn when classes resume in August.”
No application or approval process is required for children to receive the free meals. “All they need to do is show up with an adult, wash their hands, and go through the line to be served,” said School Nutrition Director Monica Bolick.
Bolick commented that she “hopes the program will help a lot of children in families that need a little assistance to keep everyone fed. About 40% of our students receive free or reduced price meals during the school year and we know that many of these students can benefit from having the same service during the summer.”
Cove Creek School was chosen to host the program because it is the site of a W.A.M.Y. summer camp. Mabel was chosen because it is the site of a summer reading camp offered as part of the state’s “Read to Achieve” program. There will also be a summer reading camp at Hardin Park School, but federal guidelines require that free meals at that site be restricted to students enrolled in the reading camp.
This will be the third year that the school system has offered a summer nutrition program.