By Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4)– For most kids, summertime is a welcome break from school. But, summer can also be a difficult time for children who rely on their schools to provide meals.
That is why the Denver Public Schools have opened up some school cafeterias to make sure every child has food to eat this summer.
On Friday, DPS Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova joined summer school students for lunch at Barnum Elementary.
“During out school year many of our kids get breakfast in the classroom and lunch through the school day,“ she said. “Once summer is happening they lose access to that if they don’t know about this program.”
LINK: DPS Summer Sites
The program she’s referring to is the free Summer Food Service program at 58 DPS schools. The program provides free breakfast and lunch for any child who walks through the doors, whether they attend DPS or not.
“Unlike the school year, one, two, three year-olds, all the way up 18-year-olds can get free lunch,” and she said their parents can come get lunch, too. “Adults can buy lunch for the very low cost of $3. You can’t get a meal for three bucks any other place in the city.”
In a district where nearly 70 percent of students are enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program the significance of the summer program isn’t lost on the students.
“Some people need their lunches or they might starve,” said Mia Salcido, who is attending summer school to prepare for the fourth grade. “They rely on this food because they don’t have much food at home.”
The free Summer Food Service Program continues through the end of July.
LINK: DPS Summer Meal Program