Time for Lunch

 Jen Gladwill and her daughter, Audrey, who will be an eighth grader at Henley Middle School this fall, hang in the back of their pickup truck after handing out free sack lunches to kids who showed up at Ferguson Elementary School between 11 a.m. and noon. (Marcia Schlottman, KCSD)

Jen Gladwill and her daughter, Audrey, who will be an eighth grader at Henley Middle School this fall, hang in the back of their pickup truck after handing out free sack lunches to kids who showed up at Ferguson Elementary School between 11 a.m. and noon. (Marcia Schlottman, KCSD)

KCSD as part of Klamath Child Hunger Coalition offers free meals to kids through August

Even though school’s out for the summer, more than 45 children show up daily at Ferguson Elementary School. But they aren’t there to read, add sums or write. They’re there to eat.

A line forms as Jen Gladwill and her daughter, Audrey, pass out more than 40 free brown bag lunches to anyone under the age of 18 who shows up between 11 a.m. and noon. Some kids come on their own; others with their parents or older siblings.

Earlier this month, Susan and Tony Morgado sat in the shade while their 7-year-old daughter, Emily, and three foster children ate their lunches. They plan on coming regularly.

Emily took a few bites of her sandwich before hopping up to show her mother how well she could do the splits. The girl with the bright ribbons in her hair will be a second-grader at Ferguson Elementary this fall. Her two foster brothers will be in kindergarten and first grade.

The Morgados like the free lunch program because it gives their children a chance to eat and play outdoors.

“They get to play a little bit, have a nutritious lunch and see the school where they get to go next year, Susan Morgado says. “And we can walk here.”

Gladwill, who is head cook at Henley High School, says the school district works to make sure children have access to nutritious lunches daily during the summer. The district also provides at no cost lunches to churches who host summer Bible camps as well as the district’s summer school programs and camps.

The Klamath County School District provides about 110 brown bag lunches daily at its three open sites – Shasta, Ferguson and Peterson elementary schools. Other lunch sites around the county are hosted by Integral Youth Services and the Klamath YMCA. IYS and the Y partner with Klamath County School District as part of the Klamath Child Hunger Coalition. The organizations providing meals are reimbursed by the USDA through the state of Oregon.

“It’s a good service to the community for kids,” said Chris Dalla, Klamath County School District’s food services supervisor. He would like to see more children take advantage of the free lunches. “The most frustrating thing is we’re reaching less than 10 percent of the school-age population.”

The program started June 18 and runs through Aug. 24, depending on the site. Peterson, Shasta and Ferguson will offer lunches through Aug. 3. Click here to see a list of all sites.

Locations

  • Applegate Apartments 4520 Bristol Ave.
  • Arthur Townhouses 1408 Arthur St.
  • Baptist Church on Homedale 3052 Homedale Rd
  • Biehn St. Lot (Biehn & Prescott) Biehn & Prescott
  • Big Springs Park – Bonanza
  • Campus Green Mobile Home Park 3611 Hwy. 97 N.
  • Chiloquin Park 220 2nd Ave
  • Conger Elementary 1700 California Ave
  • Country Village Apartments 5500 Norgold Ln.
  • County Library – Bly
  • Crest Street Park 5801 Hillyard Ave.
  • Crestview Commons 3900 Hillyard Ave.
  • Etna Park Etna St. and Bryant St.
  • Ferguson Elementary 2901 Homedale Rd.
  • High Valley Estates 1333 Avalon St.
  • Integral Youth Services 1011 Main St.
  • Keno Library 15555 OR-66
  • Kit Carson Park West end of Leroy Street
  • Klamath Falls Library 316 Main St.
  • Klamath First United Methodist Church 230 N 10th St.
  • Malin Presbyterian Church 2302 5th St
  • Merrill St. Augustine Church 905 E Front St
  • Mills-Kiwanis Park Reclamation St. & Division St.
  • New Horizons Church 1909 Homedale Rd
  • Palomino Café – Beatty
  • Peterson Elementary 4856 Clinton Ave.
  • Richmond Park N 2nd St. & McKinley St.
  • Shasta Elementary 1951 Madison Ave.
  • South Branch Library 3625 Summer’s Ln.
  • Sprague River Library
  • St. Paul’s 801 Jefferson St.
  • Stukel Park Stukel St. & Martin St.
  • Wiard Park 2800 Wiard St.
  • Y at Fairview 1017 Donald St.
  • YMCA Main site 1221 S. Alameda Ave.
  • Youth Center 601 E Main St.
  • Youth Rising 729 Main Street

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Press release provided from Marcia Schlottman, Public Relations, Klamath County School District.