Englewood summer food program changes

Lunch bus no longer runs but free breakfast, lunch still available

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Four fixed sites providing free breakfast and lunch to anyone under 18 during the summer replaces the little yellow Lunch Box Express bus that offered free lunches to all young comers the past few years.

“When the Lunch Box Bus program no longer came to our city, the Englewood Schools Food Service Program wanted to provide meals for the people we usually serve and this year is our opportunity,” said Melissa Franklin, district food service director. “We have the program organized and ready to start serving free meals.”

She said meals will begin to be served at the Maddox Earle Childhood Education Center, 700 W. Mansfield, on June 9. The other three sites — Bishop Elementary School, 3100 S. Elati St.; Clayton Elementary School, 4600 S. Fox St.; and Englewood High School, 3800 S. Elati St. — will begin serving meals on June 16.

Franklin said breakfast will be served from 7:45 until 9 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at each of the sites. A meal will cost $3 for anyone over 18.

“For breakfast, hot meals might include an egg and cheese sandwich or a breakfast burrito. Cold meals could include cereal or muffins,” she said.

She said hot lunch meals might include a chili cheese baked potato while cold meals could be a lunchmeat sandwich.

“All meals will be prepared in the new state-of-the-art kitchen at Englewood High School,” Franklin said. “We want to get out the word so children and qualified young adults will take advantage of the free meal program. We are hoping to serve daily about 500 meals at breakfast and 1,000 at lunch.”

She noted the summer meal program is funded by the Colorado Department of Education using grants from the federal government.

“We are reimbursed based on the number of meals we serve,” Franklin said. “The Lunch Box Express was reimbursed on the same basis”

Franklin said there will be seven full-time employees on duty plus three people on call should more hands be needed to meet the meal demands.

“We are all for this program,” she said. “We provide meals for children who qualify during the school year. They don't stop getting hungry in the summer so we feel we can be of service to our community by providing the opportunity for free meals for anyone under 18 during the summer.”