The Hillsboro City Schools will launch a new summer feeding program for kids 18 and under on Tuesday, May 30.
The free program is the brainchild of Jessica Jones, the school district’s director of food and nutrition services, who said at Wednesday’s school board meeting that, “My concern is that our kids our hungry and they need food.”
The district has purchased a new, customized 18-foot food truck for around $100,000, but it will not be ready until sometime in early June. In the meantime, Jones has made plans rent to another truck that is food service approved.
Jones said she has been awarded several grants that will help reduce the cost of the truck and that there are tentative plans to use it during other times throughout the school year.
The big difference with the new HCS Tomahawk Food Truck is that it will take food to the people who need it most, rather than having those people come to the school.
The truck will run most Mondays through Fridays from May 30 until Aug. 4. It will take a break July 3-7.
While the truck’s scheduled stops could be altered as officials determine where the most meals are being served, the schedule for now looks like this: 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. – Hillsboro High School; 10:50 to 11:15 a.m. – Hillsboro Central Office at the former school site off West Main Street; 11:20 to 11:40 p.m. – Treewood Apartments; 11:45 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. – Cedar Woods Apartments; 12:10 to 12:30 p.m. – former Hillsboro fire station on Governor Trimble Place; 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. – Rocky Fork Lake North Beach.
In addition, the school will serve breakfast from the 9 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Hillsboro Elementary School until June 30 only.
It will also serve lunch at Hillsboro Elementary from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until June 30 only.
Jones said the school is also working with the Peace Lutheran Church on Harry Sauner Road that serves free meals after the free movies shown on summer Wednesdays at Stars Cinemas.
Approximately 50 percent of the district’s students are on an income-based program that gives them free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, and about 75 kids receive meals to take home each weekend. The school also offers several free breakfast options to all its students during the school year.
The summer meals will be prepared at the elementary school before the truck heads to its various stops, but Jones said they will be almost identical to regular school lunches and will meet all the nutrition requirements. She said there will be daily alternative fruits available including sliced apples, apple sauce, raisins and assorted fruit; as well alternative items subject to availability like salad with dressing, sub sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Jones said she believes the truck will serve about 500 meals a day.
The board also approved a new policy for charging school lunches during the school year. It reads: “We allow students to charge meals because good nutrition is essential to learning and we understand that sometimes children forget or lose their money. As we are a non-profit agency, we depend on everyone to pay their charges in order to keep costs low.
“Students will be allowed to charge five lunch meals for $12.50 at the high school/middle school, and $11.25 for elementary. Once the maximum charge is reached, the student will receive a charged bag lunch meal which will consist of: milk, peanut butter and jelly bar, fruit, and veggie bag. In addition, no ala carte items will be sold to students who have reached the maximum charge limit.
“No student shall be permitted to charge ala carte items.
“You may send in your payment to the school cafeteria or you may utilize our online payment center which may be accessed from the school website (www.hcs-k12.org).”
The board further voted to keep regular lunch prices the same as they have been in recent years: $2.25 for an elementary student lunch, $2.50 for high school/middle school lunch, 40 cents for reduced-price lunches, and $3 for adult lunches.
During the early part of the meeting the board recognized: “Good Apple Students” in grades K-1 (one from each classroom), Rodger Marsh for 30 years of coaching, and the middle school girls track team coached by Abby Baker and Zach Cowan for winning the South Central Ohio League championship and setting several records.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.