Free lunches for kids in Snohomish and Monroe
SNOHOMISH — Children in Snohomish and Monroe can get a free, tasty meal from their school districts through annual summer breakfast and lunch programs starting this week.
In Snohomish, the annual Kids Café program kicks off June 18 at four locations.
Local children aged 18 and under of all income levels are invited to eat breakfast and lunch at places including the Snohomish Aquatic Center, and no pre-registration is required.
This summer, kids can earn toward a free pass to the Snohomish Aquatic Center by going to any meal location.
For every meal they eat each day with the Kids Café program, they will receive a sticker to put onto a special calendar. For every 10 stickers they earn, they get a free day pass to the Snohomish Aquatic Center.
Snohomish Schools spokeswoman Kristin Foley said Kids Café was a partnership made with Sodexho, the school district’s food provider.
The Kids Café program began in 2010, and has served a total of 48,555 meals since its beginnings with just lunch at Snohomish High School. Each summer, the program grew and added more features to better serve the children of the community.
In 2011, breakfast was added to the program, but the number of meals served dropped by 34. To have a broader reach, the Kids Café program exploded in 2012 with the added feature of the “mobile solution,” where a food truck visited the Boys and Girls Club and the Circle H Mobile Home Park. The number of meals served for that summer was 17,338. In 2013, a total of 20,783 meals were served and a third “mobile solution” site was added at the Three Rivers Mobile Home Park.
The food truck goes to the mobile home parks because they are more out-of-the-way than what’s walkable for kids to get to downtown.
Volunteers are the key in helping keep the program going and the kids well-fed.
“I work with this army of community volunteers that make this program work,” Foley said. “This summer, I need more than 360 volunteers to make this program work.”
“This Snohomish School District program is successful because of community partnerships with Snohomish Community Food Bank, Kiwanis, Snohomish Rotary, Snohomish Boys and Girls Club, Bickford Ford, various local faith organizations, JROTC, district parent organizations, Kohl’s, Girl Scouts of America and more,” the school district said in a press release.
Folks who want to volunteer this summer and help out can contact Kristin Foley at the school district office by calling 360-563-7263 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The prtogram runs through Aug. 29.
Monroe’s summer lunch program, called the Summer Star Club, is now in its 10th year.
The Summer Star Club kicks off June 18 and runs until Aug. 15.
Organizers are looking for volunteers to host summer activities that made the program a success in previous years.
Learning activities are offered along with lunch, and in previous summers, the Monroe Library and Monroe Police Department have offered learning activities to lunch participants.
“As a librarian, the summer feeding program gives me an opportunity to connect with children and families that I many not see in the library,” said Shannon Dye, Monroe Library’s children’s librarian.
The Police Department also enjoys the outreach.
“(The lunch program) is a great opportunity for the police department to interact with kids in a positive setting,” department spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.
The department may do another activity with the summer lunch program this year.
Kids Café runs weekdays from Wednesday, June 18 through Friday, Aug. 29 (except July 4) at four locations:
• Snohomish High School - 1316-5th Street.
Breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• Snohomish Aquatic Center – 516 Maple Ave., 11:30 a.m. to noon.
• Snohomish Boys and Girls Club - 402 Second St., 11:30 a.m. to noon.
• Circle H Mobile Home Park - 6413 123rd Ave. SE, 11:30 to 11:45 a.m.
• Three Rivers Mobile Home Park - 13201 Elliott Road in Snohomish, 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
Youths 18 and under can eat for free, and no
preregistration or eligibility forms are required.
The summer lunch programs will be held weekdays at Frank Wagner Elementary, 115 Dickinson Rd., from noon to 12:45 p.m.
Youth 18 and under residing in the Monroe School District can eat for free, and no preregistration or eligibility forms are required.
Lunch is weekdays at Sultan Elementary School. 501 Date St. from June 16 to Aug. 29
(Closed July 4)
Lunch: 12:30 to 1 p.m.
Free activities: 12:45 to 1:30 p.m.