BDUSD Summer Food Service Program Serves Nearly 10,000 Meals
This summer, the Beaver Dam Unified School District food service program, managed by Taher, Inc., served nearly 10,000 free meals to children up to age 18 in the community through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). In conjunction with summer school, 9,763 meals were served to children at Prairie View Elementary and Jefferson Elementary Schools, as well as at the Dodge County YMCA, from June 15th through August 15th (plus an additional 242 to adults who purchased theirs). Children need healthy food as their brains and bodies are developing. During the school year, many children receive free and reduced priced meals through the school breakfast and national school lunch programs. When school is not in session, some children may experience poor nutrition and hunger. Poor nutrition can negatively impact the overall development of children. Lack of good nutrition during the summer months can begin a cycle of poor health that may continue into the school year negatively impacting health, causing illness and impeding the learning process. The SFSP is designed to fill the summer nutrition gap and make sure children get the nutritious meals they need.
In Beaver Dam, Chef Chris Marks and Food Service Director Kevin Dresdow created menus of nutritious and delicious meals. Lunches featured favorites like cheese pizza, hamburgers, chicken dishes and fresh fruits and vegetables. “I was amazed at how delicious and healthy the food choices were,” stated one parent.
Dodge County YMCA Director Jen Kruel had this to say about the summer lunch program.
“Our Y was thrilled to be a partner site for the Beaver Dam Unified School District’s summer lunch program. This program provided free hot lunches daily for hundreds of youth in our community. The children from our Y day camp and swim lessons programs, along with the many youth that rode their bikes here, truly enjoyed the lunches and the changing menu items. The parents, especially those that work throughout the day, commented how much they appreciated the opportunity for their children to have a hot and healthy lunch each and every weekday. This free summer lunch program, which is open to all youth, was received well and provided positive outcomes for youth development and healthy living—of which our Y was thankful to be a part of.”
Through the financial support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Beaver Dam Unified School District was able to provide meals at no cost to the children of the Beaver Dam area this summer. This program is a federally funded program under the USDA and managed at the state level by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The SFSP is an extension of the National School Lunch Program and serves healthy meals to children and teens in low income areas at no charge, primarily during the summer months when school is not in session.