OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
Pullman Public Schools will begin its free summer meal program on June 14.
All children between one and 18 years old are eligible to receive free “grab and go” breakfast and lunches. The program ends August 12, according to the summer meal program’s website.
The United States Department of Agriculture funds the program, said Jessie Campbell, Nutrition Services supervisor. The funding covers food and staffing expenses.
The district has continuously explored ways to support the community since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. The district offers free three and five-day meal kits to local kids regardless of their enrollment in Pullman schools, she said. The last day to pick up meal kits is June 9.
The district plans to update menus on its website at the end of the school year and throughout the summer, Campbell said.
Meals provided over the summer will be similar to ones served during the academic year, she said. However, the district will do its best to incorporate fresh and local seasonal produce.
“We’ll keep looking to offer [this program] in the future and try and refine what we’re doing to meet the needs of the kids in the community,” Campbell said.
According to the website, children, parents and guardians can pick up free meals at the following times, dates and locations:
Kamiak Elementary School
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday from June 14 to August 12, meals are available for pick up at 1400 NW Terre View Drive.
Lincoln Middle School
From noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday from August 10 to August 12, meals are available for pick up at 315 SE Crestview Drive.
Pullman High School
From noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday from June 22 to August 12, meals are available for pick up at 510 NW Greyhound Way.
Individuals requiring meal modifications can email email@example.com or call 509-332-5179, she said.
Campbell said she is also currently working to partner with Backyard Harvest, a Moscow-based organization.
“We work in partnership with our community to connect those with extra fresh produce to those who need it the most … through food access sites [and] food pantries,” said Will O’Neal, Backyard Harvest’s gleaning coordinator.
Backyard Harvest extends its programs throughout the Palouse and the Lewis Clark Valley, he said. The organization helps to gather and distribute produce to the community.
O’Neal said Backyard Harvest partnered with Pullman Public Schools in the past by providing local produce to the district’s pantry program.
“I’m working with [Backyard Harvest] to have them bring over some of that produce so that it would be available to families too,” Campbell said.
Plans on how and where Backyard Harvest can distribute produce to Pullman families are still underway, O’Neal said.
Growing season typically runs from late June through November, he said.
“That’s the period when we’re able to provide produce for our partners,” O’Neal said. “We hope that we can work with them in the future going forward as well.”