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AES offers free meals for kids

Although school might be the last place students want to spend their summer, during the month of June they can get a free and nutritious lunch at Andalusia Elementary School.

Stephanie Dillard, child nutrition program director for Andalusia City Schools, said the program is federally funded and open to any child under the age of 18.

“It’s basically an extension of the National School Lunch Program,” she said. “There is no charge for any child under the age of 18, whether or not they attend one of the Andalusia schools.”

Lunches are available every weekday in June at the AES cafeteria, from 10:45 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Breakfasts are available on a staggered schedule — from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. on Thurs., June 4, June 8-19 (weekdays only), June 23-25 and June 30.

“These will be the same nutritious, balanced meals that we would serve during the school year,” Dillard said. “It gives children an opportunity to still be able to eat a healthy lunch during the summer. The breakfasts are usually grab-and-go, and include things like blueberry muffins, fruit and milk, bagels and cereal.”

The meals are prepared by state-certified AES cafeteria staff and inspected by the state health department.

Dillard said several local summer schools and programs use the program to feed their students, but individuals are also welcome to pick up a free lunch any day — as long as those eating are younger than 18.

“Any child can come in any day of the week, but if there’s a large group coming, it would be good to have an adult there to supervise,” she said.

Also, if a group larger than 10 would like to visit the school for the free meal program, please notify either Dillard at 222-6379 or AES at 222-3588 so enough food can be prepared.

Those who would like more information about the program can also call Dillard.