The Jessamine County school district’s summer-feeding program is off to a roaring start despite the closing of one of the main cafeteria locations.
The federally funded program started June 4 and is in its fourth year of providing free lunches Monday through Friday to all children 18 years old or younger. It has expanded to 11 locations across the county this year but is not serving meals out of Nicholasville Elementary as in years past; the school is undergoing a comprehensive renovation.
“They said the dining room and the kitchen would be fine, but we just didn’t want to take any chance,” said Karen Barden, the district’s child-nutrition director. “We just didn’t want any children accidentally wandering into the other areas.”
The biggest change in the program this year is getting hot meals to all the locations and not just the cafeterias.
“(In the past,) we’ve done hot meals at the main kitchen locations, and then at the park locations, we have done just sack meals, colder lunches,” Barden said. “But this year we’re taking hot meals out to the parks, too; all the locations are receiving the hot meals. It’s been really successful.”