Free meals and library access available this summer

FRESNO, Calif.

Free is the key word here. Not only can kids get fed at six Central Unified schools this summer, they'll also have access to school libraries so they can read and use the computer.

With so much to choose from, the kids at Teague Elementary were all smiles in the cafeteria. A big sandwich or a burrito provides fuel for the rest of the day.

Principal Gina Amaro-McNamara reminded them the meals won't end during vacation. The summer seamless meals program begins Monday. Kids can enjoy free breakfast and lunch.

Amaro-McNamara said, "It's an exciting time for us especially when parents are struggling at home financially. We're able to meet some needs of our families. Kids can come to where they know they're safe."

Not only will kids be fed, they can also use the library to read and continue the learning process. For parents like Michele Santoyo the read and feed program is a godsend.

Santoyo said, "It gives them a great opportunity. They can come for breakfast. They can utilize the library, utilize the computer lab and then have lunch."

Central Unified Superintendent Mike Berg knows for many Valley kids, the school lunch may be their most nutritional meal of the day.

Berg said, "We have a high percentage, almost 62-percent of families on some level of assistance, and so we think it's fundamental to making sure our families are healthy, to making sure our families have access to literature and reading."

Berg said six Central Unified sites will be used: Teague, McKinley, Herndon-Barstow, Harvest and Biola-Pershing elementary schools as well as the Central High East campus.

But you don't have to be enrolled in Central unified to enjoy the free breakfast and lunch. The meals are free to kids 18-and-under. The program is funded in part by the US Department of Agriculture.

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