School District 25's summer food service program begins Wednesday

Summer food service program kicks off in Pocatello

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - On Tuesday night, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District kicked off its annual summer food service program, and on Wednesday they served their first lunches of the year. 

For the 19th year, School District 25’s summer food service program is giving people in Bannock County free lunch, albeit with a few restrictions.

Tom Wilson, the district’s food service coordinator, said he loves the work.

“73 degrees and a light breeze and I get to play at the park for my job, I love it," he said. "I mean, it makes me feel great because the kids are getting fed and that’s the ultimate goal.” 

Despite this being the first year the program has started mid-week, turnout was strong. 
“So far, we’re getting really good response," Wilson said. "At all eight parks, we expect to see over 2,000 people today.”

Those eight parks, Alameda, Bicentennial, Caldwell, Hawthorne, OK Ward, Lower Ross and Raymond, all offer the free lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, getting many families out of the house and keeping their kids fed.

Alex Vasquez said he’s felt the benefit of the program for a long time and his kids look forward to it all year long

“The food, of course, they like to play afterwards around here and that's about every park you can sit down in the shade and eat," he said. "I like to see them you know, have fun here.” 

And Anjilee Lott said the program makes her life a little less stressful. 

“It’s another, like I said, another reason to get out of the house and go to the park so, it’s a kill two birds with one stone type thing,” Lott explained.  

Wilson said the program's real MVPs are the servers since they develop a relationship with each and every kid they meet. 

“It just touches my heart, because, like I said, the kids aren’t only being fed, but they’re getting some emotional support through the program as well.” 

You can view a list of all local summer lunch programs HERE.

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