The most successful Winter Break Feeding Program in NUSD history ended Friday, Jan. 4, with a BBQ lunch of beef hamburgers, turkey hot dogs, green salad, oranges, and milk served at Natomas Park Elementary. Identical entrees were offered at three other NUSD schools, but the BBQ and a party-like atmosphere — with games and music — were unique to Natomas Park, where dozens of kids turned out and one used chalk to draw hearts on the sidewalk and write, “Best Party Ever!”
The Winter Break Feeding Program was launched three years ago to provide free lunches to any child at risk of going hungry while schools are closed for the holidays. Over the past two weeks, 992 meals were served at American Lakes, Jefferson, Witter Ranch and Natomas Park schools. This year’s total exceeded last year’s NUSD record by about 5%.
Asked about possible reasons for this year’s increase, Nutrition Services Coordinator Rylee Welly noted that this winter marked the first time hot entrees were offered — such as pizza, Sloppy Joe’s, or macaroni and cheese — and they proved to be popular. Also, word of mouth seems to build year by year, she noted.
The program’s success is a great way to start 2019!
NUSD’s schools and Ed Center will reopen Monday (Jan. 7).