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Oxford School District to serve free summer meals

During most of their summer break, area students can still see some friends and share a meal together at one of their favorite places at school – the cafeteria.

The Oxford School District will serve nutritious summer meals to area kids and teens at no cost starting today and going through July 21 at the Oxford Intermediate School.

The district’s summer meal program provides breakfast from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. and lunch from 10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. to any child age 1 to 18 years at no charge Monday through Friday.

Children do not have to attend Oxford schools to receive the free meals.

Adults can eat breakfast and lunch with their child, too, but there is a cost to dine in with their children: breakfast is $1.75, and lunch is $3.75. School officials do ask that parents accompany youth under the age of 12 during meal times.

No application or proof of income is needed.

Also, parents and organizations are encouraged to help with transportation of children to and from the Summer Meal Program site because the school district does not provide transportation for the program.

Since the Summer Meal Program site is centrally located in Oxford, organizations such as local summer camps, the Boys & Girls Club and daycare facilities can walk their children to Oxford Intermediate School to take advantage of the program.

For many kids, summertime means food, friends and fun; however, that’s not the case for all area children.

For children who count on school breakfast and lunch, the summer months can be stressful because family food budgets have to be stretched even further.

All meals served are healthy and follow the same USDA nutrition guidelines the school district follows during the regular school year.

Director Child Nutrition Tim Howington reported in the fall to the OSD board that 15,021 meals were served during the summer of 2016, up from 11,613 in 2015.

“It was tremendously successful,” Howington told the school board members.

While the meals are free to all children, the district earns about $22,000 after expenses that go back into the child nutrition general fund. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the school is reimbursed for each meal.

Last year’s program had a net profit of $11,540.