The school district puts on the 5-day a week breakfast and lunch service to feed hungry stomachs of those who need it most. An average of 45% of Kalispell students take part in the Free and Reduced program during the school year, but we're told only 17 percent of students take advantage of the free summer meals.
The district held a kickoff event at Woodland Park Tuesday to encourage more children to come to breakfast and lunch. The summer food service is funded by the US Department of Agriculture.
"We're definitely working to improve the food security in the Flathead Valley and through that we're able to buy a lot more local produce," said FoodCorps member Katie Wheeler. "Today the beef we have is local, our tomatoes and cucumbers in our salads all produced locally. That's kind of a really awesome part about doing a food program in the summer, it's when bounty is available."
Organizers hope the summer program attracts more low income families looking to bridge the gap with the free meals.