The old adage “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” is proving to be false in Redwood Falls – at least as far as kids are concerned.
Every weekday from now through Aug. 12 kids can get a free lunch at Reede Gray Elementary school thanks to a program being implemented by the Redwood Area School District (RASD) and operated by Taher, Inc., which provides the school lunch program at RASD during the school year.
According to John Sellevold, RASD finance director, the school district became eligible this year making it a site for a summer food service program.
“It’s free and any kids can come,” Sellevold said, adding they don’t have to be enrolled in the local school district. “We are called an open site, which means any kid up to age 18 can come and eat.”
The program is offered through the Minnesota Department of Education, with its funds coming from the federal government. The school is reimbursed for every meal served.
The meals are being served in the south gym at Reede Gray, with lunch available from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. (There is no meal available July 4.)
The meals are offered on a first come, first served basis, with food available until it is gone.
Sellevold said the food being served is similar to what one might experience at a school lunch, adding the purpose is to ensure kids are getting a good, nutritious meal during the summer.
In addition to lunch, Sellevold said the site is offering a free breakfast as well, with the south gym open for serving from 8-9 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Sellevold said because this is the first year the program is being offered everyone involved is learning through trial and error.
The Redwood Area Board of Education approved moving forward with the program at its May regular meeting, with the school administration taking time to get all of the program in place before getting it started.
Getting the free lunch is as simple as just showing up with an appetite on any day and getting in line with the other kids.