Being that I loathed school lunch as a kid (OK, only sometimes – not gonna lie, the kalua pork and baked spaghetti were bomb), I never thought there’d be a day where I was appreciative of school meals, but here we are. With all that’s been in the news regarding school lunch debt and children being shamed and denied food, it’s reassuring to know that some Maui County schools are offering free meals to those that are 18 years old and younger as part of the Seamless Summer Option program.
“The Department [of Education] is excited to see an increase in the number of schools that have stepped up to feed our keiki this summer. This is typically a period of time where our most vulnerable students do not have access to services that they normally would during the school year,” said Dann Carlson, assistant superintendent at the Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “Our hope is that more students will enjoy a free meal, simply by stopping by one of our participating schools.”
Wailuku, Waihe‘e, and Kaunakakai Elementary Schools will be participating in the program in Maui County. Meals will be served Monday through Friday, excluding June 11 (King Kamehameha Day) and July 4 (Independence Day). Interested individuals or families should contact the schools directly to inquire about the precise times that lunch is served.
The SSO is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that low-income children continue to receive meals during the summer. Participating schools must have 50 percent or more of its regular enrolled students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches and some type of summer program on campus. However, meals are available to any recipient who is 18 years old and younger.
Image courtesy HIDOE