PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Schools out – and for thousands of kids that means an end to healthy meals provided by local school systems.
“Unfortunately, in our community, we have some children that depend on their school lunch and their school breakfast as their main source of nutrition for their day,” says Dr. Linda Lane, Pittsburgh School superintendent.
More than 73,000 students in Allegheny County alone are eligible for free or subsidized meals in schools.
Now local officials have introduced a program called GrubUp to help city students get free healthy meals during the summer-time.
“GrubUp Pittsburgh will serve free meals to children up to 18-years-old, as well as disabled children up to 21-years-old, at more than 70 permanent sites throughout the city,” says Jim Griffin, director of CitiParks.
Thanks to grants from Walmart, GrubUp will serve meals to all kids of all income levels at all 10 Citiparks recreation centers on weekdays, along with a number of other locations throughout the city.
GrupUp also has a roving food truck.
“We’re making that program kid-friendly and parent-friendly, instead of bureaucratic. We’re making it forward-looking, instead of business as usual. And we’re making it welcoming, instead of stigmatizing,” says Ken Regal, executive director of Just Harvest, one of the partners in the program.
Councilman Corey O’Connor chairs City Council’s recreation committee.
“By offering free lunches and having a food truck to go with it, you’re bringing the kids together and building a neighborhood around parks and recreation,” said O’Connor, who then joked, “I was just told by the mayor that I still look like I’m 15, so I can get a free lunch if I’m ever hungry.”
For more information about the program and where to get the free meals, just log onto http://www.grubuppgh.com/.