Mesa County summer lunch program helps those in need

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The smell of pizza fills the Chipeta Elementary’s cafeteria as it awaits the arrival of hungry students.

Monday marked the kick-off to the Summer Food Service Program. Three elementary schools in Mesa County will host the program: Chipeta, Clifton and Rocky Mountain.

Carol Funk, a food service manager at Chipeta, said she has been working the Summer Food Service Program for at least 15 of the years. The program serves students breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Funk said that a grant from the government funds the program offsetting the cost of living for lower income families.

“It gives students a bite to eat up until their 19th birthday,” Funk said.

The food service employees at Chipeta Elementary planned for 70 students to attend on Monday. But, Funk said, the census is normally a bit lower than what they anticipate.

The meals served during the summer are similar to what a student would receive during the school year.

“We serve fewer hot dishes in the summer. The kids like pizza, so we’re having that today. We still have to meet the government guidelines on whatever we serve,” Funk said.

The program, which takes place Monday through Thursday, not only helps those on a tight budget — but it allows children to eat well-balanced meals.

“We get the correct nutritional needs to the students with lower income in the summertime. They get a good nutritious meal,” Funk said.

The Summer Food Service Program lasts for six weeks. Information on locations and dates at www.mesa.k12.co.us.



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