Montrose free meals program up 62%

MONTROSE — The Montrose County School District was recognized by the Colorado Department of Education this summer for its work in 2010 in helping students and families get better access to free meals during the summer months.

According to Kathy Deltonto, nutrition services director for District RE-1J, Montrose and Olathe schools served 7,589 meals during summer months in 2010, placing the district 15th among school districts statewide in the Summer Food Service Program.

This year, the district prepared 12,301 meals during the same time period, a 62 percent increase over 2010.

The district serves breakfast and lunch for free or for reduced prices to children and their families during the summer.

The increase is credited to more awareness of the program, but Deltonto said more can be done to connect students and families with it.

“We would see more participation if we have more transportation to those sites,” Deltonto said.

Last year, the program offered meals at Olathe Elementary, Johnson Elementary in Montrose and Montrose High School. Next year, there are plans to make the program more mobile to reach out to kids in parks and playgrounds.

Deltonto said the program is great for families whose food budget changes from the school year to summer vacation. Statewide in 2010, districts served 970,000 meals in 300 communities, up 26 percent over 2009.


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