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Wed, Oct. 16

School program feeds Kingman-area kids all summer

KINGMAN - The Kingman Unified School District's summer food program will begin providing free lunches Monday to area children.

The program, which runs through July 26 at six schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Kingman, starts with the Summer Food Kickoff from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Grandview Pool, 324 Gold St.

There is no cost to attend the event, which will offer free food, music, swimming and games with prizes.

Paula Loomis, director of food services for KUSD, said the program is entering its third year and feeds children 18 and under for free with no questions asked about income or need. Adults can eat with their children for $3 per meal. Loomis said the Arizona Department of Education reimburses KUSD for the children's meals.

"This is a win-win situation for Kingman's children and for KUSD," she said. "The kids get to eat free during the summer and our employees get to keep working during the months they would be off. So many children don't get to eat well during the summer because school is out, which is so sad.

"This is really a good program and it's needed here."

Loomis said the food is prepared at the district's central kitchen and transported to all seven sites.

All food is served at the schools' cafeterias except for the Boys & Girls Club, which gets boxed lunches, and no food can be taken from the premises.

The meals are inspected and regulated for carbohydrates, proteins, saturated fat and sodium. Loomis said all sites must be in a school or have one nearby with 50 percent or more of its children receiving free or reduced lunches.

Meals will be served Monday through Friday at:

• Cerbat Elementary School, 2689 Jagerson Ave., 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.;

• Hualapai Elementary School, 350 Eastern St., noon to 1 p.m.;

• Manzanita Elementary School, 2601 Detroit Ave., 10:30 to noon;

• Kingman Middle School, 1969 Detroit Ave., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.;

• Kingman High School, 4182 Bank St., 10:30 a.m. to noon;

• Boys & Girls Club of Kingman, 301 N. First St., 11 a.m. to noon. The club will be closed and no lunches served July 1-5.

• Mt. Tipton School, 16500 Pierce Ferry Road in Dolan Springs, will have its summer food program from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday through June 27.

"When the Arizona Department of Education contacted me two years ago and asked if I would try this program, I thought it wouldn't work because we wouldn't have enough participation in Kingman," said Loomis. "Last year, we served about 380 children and adults a day, which was wonderful. This year, I'm expecting about 500.

"But even if we only feed 100 a day, these children are hungry and need it."

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