Summer lunch program offered to children, families in need

Photo courtesy of Cedar City Summer Lunch Program Facebook page, Cedar City News / St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University and the Community Presbyterian Church have partnered to offer a free summer lunch program starting Tuesday in Cedar City and Enoch for children from low-income families. While the lunch is free to children under 18, those over 18 can purchase a lunch at a reduced price.

Paula Loveland, Iron County School District child nutrition specialist, said in a previous report that a “very high percentage” of students in low-income families in the area receive these meals as the the only meal that they have each day.

The lunch program is funded by the Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. The department plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 and under across the country.

Volunteers from Southern Utah University and members of the Community Presbyterian Church will work Monday through Friday each week preparing and serving lunches through mid-August.

According to a press release from the university, making sure children receive proper nutrition during the summer is essential to preparing them for another school year.

“The meals, along with positive enrichment activities, help ensure that kids return to school healthy and ready to learn,” the press release stated. “Community partners will bring enrichment activities along with sports and education to the parks during meal times.”

Past meals have included burritos, homemade “lunchables,” taco salads and sandwiches. Lunches are free to children 18 and under. Those over 18 can purchase a lunch at a reduced cost of $2 per plate. No lunches will be served July 4 and July 24.

The program will run from May 30 to Aug. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Main Street Park, 303 N. 100 East, Cedar City.
  • Liberty Park, 27 W. Midvalley Road, Enoch.
  • Garden Park, 646 E. Blue Sky Drive, Enoch.

The Community Presbyterian Church invites volunteers to help prepare and serve the lunches. Food Handler’s cards are necessary, and training is available. For more information, contact Rita Osborn, Southern Utah University director of rural health scholars, at 435-865-8520.

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