© 2024 Wyoming Public Media
800-729-5897 | 307-766-4240
Wyoming Public Media is a service of the University of Wyoming
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Transmission & Streaming Disruptions

When School Lunch Isn't Available, Summer Food Programs Fill In


Summer break means no tests and no homework, but for low-income kids, that can mean one less meal a day. Over 20 million kids in the U.S. are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals during the regular school year. 



School districts and community organizations across Wyoming run Summer Food Service Programs, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide free meals to kids who need them.  

Wes Clark, the Food Service Director for the Teton County School District #1, said his summer food program serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday at the Colter Elementary School to anyone under 18.

“During school, they are able to go through the school lunch line and get a good meal but during the summer, a lot of the time they’re actually left home because mom and dad, or both guardians, are working two or three jobs to make ends meet,” said Clark.

He said it’s one of the most rewarding programs he runs.

“You see kids who come every single day, breakfast and lunch. They bring their little brothers and sisters in, and that’s what makes the program worth it,” said Clark. “Knowing that even in Jackson, a place that has one of the highest per capita incomes, especially in the state of Wyoming, that there are still people in need.”

Clark said he serves more than 150 kids a day. Parents can join their kids, but they have to pay $2 for breakfast and $4 for lunch. To find a summer food program in your area, call 211.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
Related Content