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Valley Journals

Two programs to address hunger, help poverty

Jun 25, 2018 04:28PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Surprised expression when it was announced that summer food vouchers for Burger King would be handed out. (Courtesy Brooke Porter)

By Jessica Ivins | j.ivins@mycityjournals.com

On the last week of school, students heard the words, “Here are some vouchers for a free meal each week at Burger King.” 

The kids were a little excited to say the least. Facial expressions were the best demonstration of their gratitude. 

Sixty-five percent of Granite School District children qualify for free or reduced lunch. Summer is an unsure time of year for some of the children when lunch is guaranteed at school.

HB Boys, L.C. and Burger King are helping children to enjoy summer by relieving the stress of worrying about going hungry. 

HB Boys is a management company based in Salt Lake City that has been in business with 64 Burger King restaurants, 11 gas stations/convenience stores, six Costa Vida restaurants, six Beans and Brews and three Subways throughout Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming. 

Students were surprised in their classrooms with vouchers for a free meal each week of the summer at one of six Burger King locations. The locations were chosen based on proximity to the schools with the highest poverty level. 

Some children gasped in unbelief. They gladly accepted the vouchers and posed in their Burger King Crowns. 

Granite Education Foundation serves the students and teachers in the Granite School District by addressing programs and providing basic needs such as food, clothing and school supplies. 

What do you do if you missed out on those Burger King vouchers, or if you have younger children? 

A summer dinner program that supports families in Salt Lake is here to help those that need it most, in the hungriest time of the year for children and youth ages 0–18. 

Utah Community Actions Central Kitchen supports the second program. Its mission statement is, “The primary goal of the Utah Community Action (UCA) Head Start Central Kitchen is to control the quality of food provided to Head Start children. The full initiative consists of a central kitchen that provides affordable, high-quality meals and snacks that are served in an environment that emphasizes modeling of healthy eating and providing positive reinforcement and education about new foods.” 

The summer program runs at three sites throughout Salt Lake County in West Valley, South Salt Lake and east Salt Lake. Dinnertime is Monday–Friday 4: to 6:30 p.m. and runs through Aug. 10 (excluding the July 4 and 24). 

Cathy Caputo Hoskins Head Start 6447 West 4100 South West Valley City, UT 84128 

South Salt Lake Head Start 2825 South 200 East Salt Lake City, UT 84115 

Magna Head Start 8275 West 3500 South Magna, UT 84044

The Head Start Central Kitchen started as a pilot program serving 300 meals a day in 2008 and has become a social enterprise serving more than 4,000 meals a day to schools and children in the community. During the summer, workers deliver 1,400 meals to children ages 0–18 each day. 

There are also enriching family activities at each Head Start location that are provided while children are being fed. Adult meals may be purchases for $3. 

 “The season has just begun and it is going well,” said Mike Varanakis from the UCA Kitchen, “We usually see an uptake in the number of families we serve every year throughout the season as people find out about us.” 

One does not need to be a part of Head Start to partake of the meals. 

“Just show up and eat,” Varanakis said,