AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – While school has ended for the summer, school cafeterias have not. In Austintown, there’s a summer food program to keep kids fed over break.
“I’m so grateful, I stay grateful,” Nakia Anthony said. “It keeps me from cooking in the hot sun every day. I am thankful.”
Austintown Schools are passing out meals to anyone under the age of 18 in the district. Food service director Alexis Weber said things will look a little different this year.
“We worked very closely with the board of health in Mahoning County to make sure we’re following all precautions. When you walk in the building, you will see the food service workers wearing masks and following extra sanitary precautions.”
Normally, families had the option to sit and eat in the cafeteria. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, staff members had to make adjustments.
“We’re asking families to come in and take them to-go so that we have less people in the building,” Weber said. “We will also have hot meals as opposed to pre-packaged, cold items.”
The menu is a little different this summer because some of the district’s go-to items are out of stock.
“Our menus had to change and we had to come up with other replacements or alternatives to what we would have liked to have served,” Weber said. “It was just a little bit more work to get up and ready, so that’s why we took a reprieve after the school year ended and got everything ready to start today.”
Right now, food for breakfast and lunch will be available Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. through August 21. Weber said if there’s a need, they’ll consider expanding it to weekends.
There is no cost or enrollment to participate.