With Liberty Ridge Elementary hovering at 56 percent of students on free or reduced-price lunch and Daffodil Valley Elementary at 68 percent, the Sumner School District is continuing its free supper program at the schools that need it most.
Three years ago, as part of the district’s 21st Century Grant, the district decided to offer a free dinner Monday through Friday at the two elementary schools.
“Just because we feed our kids breakfast, lunch and a snack doesn’t mean that they’re going home to a healthy meal or to any meal at all,” said Karen Brown, the district’s director of child nutrition. “This gives them a chance to get a healthy meal or get a healthy meal earlier for those kids with later evening activities.”
While the district as a whole only has 34 percent of its students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, the program has been widely well received. The program is backed by the federal government, allowing the district to be reimbursed $3.31 for each child served at the nightly meal.
“Most parents are surprised we offer something like this,” Brown said. “The parents whose children come are pretty thankful for it.”
According to Brown, Liberty Ridge has about 25 kids who attend regularly, while Daffodil has 65 to 80 kids.
The free supper is open to all children age 1 to 18, regardless of if they are enrolled in the Sumner School District, or are on free or reduced-price lunch. Parents can also get a supper for $4.
“The hot entrees mirror elementary school lunches, but is different entirely from the food served that day,” Brown said. “There’s a salad bar, fresh fruit, canned fruit, carrots. It’s kid friendly. We really pick things that they want.”
The free supper at Daffodil Valley in Sumner runs from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Friday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. The meal at Liberty Ridge runs 5 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday through the remainder of the school year.
“As a school district, we are happy to do it,” Brown said. “When students are well-fed and aren’t coming to school hungry, they learn better.”
For more information, call 253-891-6000.
Sumner School District’s free supper program
▪ Daffodil Valley Elementary, 1509 Valley Avenue, Sumner
Monday – Thursday, 5:45-6:45 p.m.; Friday, 5:15-6:15 p.m.
▪ Liberty Ridge Elementary, 12202 209th Ave. Ct. E., Bonney Lake
Monday – Thursday, 5-6 p.m.; Friday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.