During their first season a year ago, Hillsboro Food Service Director Jessica Walker and the school district’s HCS Tomahawk Food Truck served summer meals to an average of 360 children each weekday. At the inaugural Summer Kickoff held Thursday at the former high school site off Main Street, Walker said she hopes to increase last year’s total by nearly 200 kids a day.
“Last year, even though we did 360 a day, I think we can do more,” Walker said at the kickoff event. “My goal is 550, and I think we can do that.”
Part of the reason for that optimism is because the program has added four stops this year. It runs Monday through Friday starting Friday, May 25 through Friday, Aug. 10, with the exception of a Fourth of July break from July 2-6. The stops are Hillsboro High School at 10:30 a.m., the central office on the old school site at 11:15 a.m., Hi Land Terrace Apartments at 11:45 a.m., Highland Heights Apartments at noon, the Highland County YMCA at 12:15 p.m., Cedar Wood Apartments at 12:30 p.m., Paint Creek Joint EMS Fire Station in Hillsboro at 1 p.m., Greater Life Assembly off North Shore Drive at 2 p.m. and North Beach area at Rocky Fork State Park at 2:30 p.m.
Breakfast will also be available at the high school from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
The program will run 50 days this year as opposed to 44 days a year ago.
Meals will be served to all children 18 and under regardless of what school they attend. There are also instances where those with a disability can be served up to age 24. The only requirements are that the meals must be consumed on-site, and no take home meals will be provided due to government regulations.
The program will also feed kids at the Hillsboro Church of Christ Vacation Bible School the first week of June, Boys Scouts at KAMP Dovetail the third week of June, and kids attending the free movie at Star Cinemas in Hillsboro on Wednesdays.
In addition, the program will offer activities like Bring A Buddy Day, Water Days and more.
“Rocky Fork built a huge new playground at the North Beach area, so our fingers are crossed hoping that will bring some more participation, too,” Walker said.
The program receives reimbursement for each meal it serves from the USDA and Walker also expects to receive grants. She said that between the two, she believes they will offset all the costs of the program this year.
Thursday’s kickoff event was open to the entire public and featured hamburgers and hot dogs grilled on-site, plus fruit, coleslaw, macaroni salad, corn on the cob, baked beans and 1 percent milk.
“We’re just trying promote awareness of the summer food program,” Walker said.
The kickoff also included a couple bounce houses for kids, games, and groups including the Hopewell Center, NCB, YMCA, OSU Extension SNAP-Ed, Highland District Library, Highland County Head Start and Hillsboro Swim Club passing out free items and information.
Visit Facebook at hcstomahawkfoodtruck for menu updates.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]