Free summer lunch program starts in Northeast Wisconsin

GREEN BAY – Monday is the start of free summer lunches across Northeast Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Area Public School District has been participating in the program for more than a decade.

The program is making a difference for parents and their children.

Jessica Schmude is a mother of two and she says she’s grateful for the free lunches.

“I’m a single mother so sometimes funds are short and during the daytime when I know that they’re at the park playing I know that they’re going to be able to eat,” said Jessica Schmude.

Schmude’s son Jonathon and daughter Aaliyah seem to enjoy the healthy food.

“I like that we can go to the park and eat at the park because usually we would be at the park and we would have to walk home to get something to eat,” said Jonathon Schmude.

If parents in Green Bay want to eat with their children, they have to pay $2.

There free lunches will be provided June 16 through August 15 in more than 30 locations.

Kathy Walker is the food service director for the Green Bay Area Public Schools.

She says the free lunch program helps support families in the area.

“I just really feel like it’s great to feed kids. It’s a very important thing to do. It’s feeding them really healthy meals,” said Walker.

Walker says a little over 4,000 meals went out on Monday.

The food is free for all kids 18 or younger Monday through Friday.

The Green Bay school district says, last year, it provided more than $113,000 summer lunches.

The Summer Food Service Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and it’s offered throughout the state including Menasha.

Lisa VanHandel stopped by a Menasha location so her son could enjoy a free lunch.

“Not everyone is going to be able to get nutritious food during the summer and it’s hard because we’re always on the go so this is better than them eating Lunchables,” VanHandel said.

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