Summer meals "on wheels" for kids in the City of Rochester
Rochester, N.Y. – Foodlink and the Rochester City School District are taking the Summer Meals program on the road.
Now, a bus travels to a handful of playgrounds and libraries, bringing food to fill up kids' bellies while school is out.
"They're nice to bring us lunches for free," said Kenya Scott, who received a free meal at Conkey Corner Park.
Tuesday’s meal included tacos, corn, milk and an orange.
“My favorite part was all of it,” said Jeremiah Morgan, who likes to read at the Phyllis Wheatley Library. “They bring us healthy stuff … so we can eat while reading. Because each time I go home, I’m always hungry."
The program expanded because there were gaps in regard to where children could access meals. There are up to 85 sites city-wide.
“So if a child would have to walk more than a quarter-mile from an area to get to a site, we thought, 'Let's try to put a mobile site there,'" said Foodlink COO Terra Keller. "So, during summer months, when children aren’t receiving a meal from their school, their educational attainment can decline - and when they get back to the school year, there could be learning loss. It's important to assure that developing minds and bodies are nourished, so we want to assure we're getting as much food out to those who need it, to develop a strong, healthy community."
Those deliveries happen Monday through Friday, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
“It's a good idea, because some people don't have cars,” said Kenny Scott, who received a free meal at Conkey Corner Park.
Since the program began on July 10, Foodlink has served 1,500 additional meals. On average, that's 130 per day.