The Kalispell public school district is expanding its summer lunch program by adding a food truck to help serve the community in six new locations.
The program will begin offering free lunch to students under age 18 Monday through Friday beginning June 13 through Aug. 17. A kickoff event featuring Gov. Steve Bullock is scheduled for June 15.
Students who depend on free or reduced lunches during the school year can have difficulties during the summer. To target this need, the Kalispell school district has been offering free lunch and breakfast in partnership with No Kid Hungry at locations in town since 2013.
No Kid Hungry is a national nonprofit program that works in partnership with the office of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and the Department of Public Health and Human Services to create the summer meals program and other year-round programs.
The program had been serving meals at two fixed locations and will now have eight locations altogether with the food truck expansion. The locations are in areas where students can easily and safely walk to eliminate the potential transportation barrier for families.
To celebrate the new food truck and the summer meals program, No Kid Hungry will host a kickoff event on June 15 at 10:45 a.m. with activities at Depot Park and Courthouse Park that include water games, dance lessons, arts and crafts, painting, gardening/service stations, sports and carnival games, and more. Gov. Steve Bullock will attend the event at the Depot Park location, which begins at noon.
“Having Gov. Bullock’s support in our efforts to end childhood hunger here in Kalispell is an honor,” said Johnny Pena from No Kid Hungry. “Having him attend the event gives awareness of the challenges of what our students and families face on a daily basis.”
To buy the food truck, the Kalispell school district received grants from the Treacy Foundation and No Kid Hungry, along with donations from Glacier Bank, Whitefish Credit Union and Parkside Credit Union.
The food truck’s locations are Northridge Park, Lawrence Park, Courthouse Park W., Depot Park (except Wednesdays), Oregon Street and Sixth Avenue West North, and Hawthorne Street and Liberty Park. Meals will also still be served at the non-mobile sites of Woodland Park and Gateway Community Center.
For more information, text “summer meals” to 97779 or visit www.sd5.k12.mt.us.