Here’s five things to keep in mind if you plan on taking your children to eat at one of these sites.
1. The meals are just for kids (usually).
Most of the local sites give free meals to children 18 years old and younger and don’t allow adults to eat the meals at all. Elkhart schools’ sites let adults eat breakfast for $2 and lunch for $3.
2. Some sites serve multiple meals every day.
Eight locations in Elkhart and nine in Goshen serve breakfast and lunch. Some locations offer an afternoon or morning snack as well.
3. You can get more than food there.
Elkhart’s lunch spots are also giving out free books, provided through Feed the Children. So kids who eat lunch at those places every day throughout the summer could get one free book each day.
Elkhart schools is also giving kids punch cards this year. When a child eats 10 free lunches and gets 10 punches on their card, they get a small prize.
The idea is to get more local kids eating the lunches, according to Pam Melcher, food services director for Elkhart schools.
4. Not every lunch site is open to everybody.
Some of the lunch sites are only for kids attending a program at that site. These are marked as “closed sites” on our map.
For example, the Boys and Girls Club lunch at Beardsley Elementary is open only to children who are part of the club’s programming. Sites that aren't marked “closed,” though, are open to the public, and there’s no limit to how many times kids can go there to eat during the summer.
5. No lunch on July 4.
Many of the lunch locations are closed on July 4 but reopen the next day.