For most parents, juggling meaningful activities, planning day trips and encouraging free play are a big part of summer.
Most realize quickly that they spend an even greater amount of time feeding their children, and with growing keiki of any age, financing three meals a day and snacks adds significant costs to the family budget.
In Honokaa and Waimea, there is a break available – any youth under 18 years old can go to the school cafeteria during breakfast and lunch hours and receive free, federally funded meals.
“In the community, it is important for kids to be able to go somewhere and get a meal,” said Marcella McClelland, Honokaa High School principal. “The intent of the program, which has been going on for many years, is to be sure that they (students and community children) continue to have regular meals during the summer and stay connected to the school.”
In Honokaa, breakfast is served at the school cafeteria from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., and lunch is 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., from now until July 18.
The program is used primarily to feed students in the Summer Bridge and the Keiki Steps to Kindergarten programs at Honokaa, but students don’t have to be registered at the school participate. McClelland encourages parent who plan to use the program regularly to sign up, but only to establish the number of meals needed.
“We can feed up to 300 kids, though we are planning for 100 meals and are going to go by ear,” McClelland said. Any child is always welcome to drop by unregistered, though.
In Waimea, any youth up to age 18 is welcome to visit the Seamless Summer Food Program in the Waimea School cafeteria any weekday for a free breakfast from 7 to 8 a.m. and free lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., now through July 18. No paperwork or identification is needed, and students do not have to attend Waimea Elementary or Middle Schools – they only need to show up and are given a meal, the same procedure as in Honokaa.
For more information in Honokaa, call the school at 775-8800, or in Waimea, call 887-7636.