Granite School District’s free Summer Lunch Program underway for studentsJul 01, 2022 10:19AM ● By Bill Hardesty
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
The Granite School District’s Summer Lunch Program is underway. The program runs Monday through Friday until Aug. 5, with two exceptions: July 4 and July 25.
There are 18 GSD summer feeding sites. Lincoln Elementary School (450 E. 3700 South) is the only school location in SSL. They serve around 200 lunches daily.
There are no eligibility requirements for participants. Anyone 18 and under can receive a free meal. However, locations must qualify by having at least 50% of recipients receiving free or reduced lunches doing the school year.
The meals are eaten at the school. Take-home meals are not allowed. Parents cannot pick up meals for their children.
Additional lunch sites
Besides Lincoln Elementary School, other sites in SSL provide summer meals.
· Bud Bailey Apartments (3970 South Main), lunch 12:30-1:30 p.m.
· Hub of Opportunity (3848 S. West Temple), breakfast 9-10 a.m., lunch 12:30-1:30 p.m.
For a complete list of summer meal sites in the state, text “Food” to 304304 or go to www.utahfoodbank.org/summermeals/
“Forty-four percent of Granite students qualify for free and reduced meals,” Ben Horsley, chief of staff for GSD, said. “Many of our Granite students have no access to meals when school is out. Summer feeding is provided to help close the food insecurity gap and ensure kids have access to meals even when school is out.”
Who pays for the food?
The GSD Lunch Program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as the Summer Meals Program.
“The SFSP is a federally-funded, state-administered program. The SFSP reimburses providers who serve free healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session,” according to the SFSP factsheet.
In 2022, the lunch rate is $4.5625 per meal. This rate consists of an operating rate of $4.13 and an administrative rate of $0.4325 for lunches.
Various agencies such as schools, parks, community centers, health clinics, hospitals, apartment complexes, churches, and migrant centers apply each year to be a sponsor. In addition, programs can apply for a “Turnip the Beet” award. The award recognizes sponsors offering children appetizing, appealing, nutritious, high-quality meals. In 2021, 14 sponsors qualified for a gold award, 54 for a silver award, and 16 for a bronze award across the country.
In 2019, 141 million meals and snacks were supplied while school was out.
In addition to the free lunch, families can visit community food pantries throughout the summer. In SSL, there are pantries at:
· The Road Home (3380 S. 1000 West)
· Granite Education Foundation (2500 South State)
· Mesopotamia Community Pantry (3422 S. 300 West)
· Church of Philadelphia (2358 South Main)
· Utah Food Bank (3150 S. 900 West)