Access to healthy meals during the summer can be difficult for students across Goodhue County.
Districts such as Cannon Falls, Red Wing, and Zumbrota-Mazeppa have summer food programs where children can receive free meals.
The Lake City School District is now joining them, offering free breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 years old and under at Bluff View Elementary School.
The program began on June 10 in the school's gymnasium. Lunchtime Solutions' Brian Wright said the meals are in the gymnasium because the school's cafeteria is under construction.
The food service director for the Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District as well. Wright said Z-M's second year summer food program is performing well, serving on average 120 meals for breakfast and 220 meals for lunch.
Wright said it depends on what programs are happening at the school, but he's confident the Lake City program will be in a similar position to Z-M.
"It's been a good start," Wright said. "I'm hoping it will continue to grow."
Not every school district has a free lunch program. Wright said he would like to see the program in every school, but it's not his decision.
The opportunity to feed children healthful meals is important to Wright. After all, day care, sports practice, and camps run throughout the entire summer, giving those students a chance to have a quality meal for no cost.
"I think that there are a number of children that just don't get the appropriate meals ... so long story short, this is something that's meant for making sure children have a safe option and a good option to go eat somewhere," Wright said.
Wright has even began working with the Lake City Farmer's Market to bring local fruits and vegetables to Bluff View and Z-M.
The program will run for five years, giving the district a chance to change, end, or continue after that time.
Wright said the program will end on Aug. 16. The week of July 4 there will be no meals served.
Times are strict, according to Wright. Breakfast is served 7:30-9 a.m., with lunch being served 11 a.m. to 12:30p.m. in the Bluff View gymnasium.
Parents, guardians, or family members can eat with the children as well. Breakfast is $2.50 and lunch is $4.05 for adults.