School may be winding down, but Del Norte kids ages 0-18 will still be able to obtain a healthy breakfast and lunch this summer.
Del Norte County Unified School District’s Seamless Summer Food Program will be held June 18-Aug. 10 at 15 locations this year. The program has added two new sites, Totem Villa Apartments and the Del Norte Child Care Council, said Nutrition Services Director Deborah Kravitz. One site, Mary Peacock Elementary School, has been eliminated from the program this year, she said.
“In addition to Open Door and the Downtown Farmers Market, we’ll be at Coastal Connections, Summer Park and Hidden Creek apartments, Smith River School, Bess Maxwell, (the Family Resource Center of the Redwoods), Lighthouse Community Church and the Del Norte Recreation Department,” Kravitz said. “In Klamath, we’ll be at the Yurok Tribal Office and in Klamath Glenn. And up at Smith River for the Tolowa we’ll be at Howonquet Hall.”
According to Kravitz, the only day the Seamless Summer Food Program will not serve meals will be July 4. Meanwhile, although breakfast and lunch will not be served on Wednesdays at the Del Norte Child Care Council, Kravitz pointed out that the Downtown Crescent City Farmers and Artisans Market, another site for the Seamless Summer Food Program, is a short walk away.
Kravitz started the Seamless Summer Food Program about five years ago at just two sites for a few weeks. In 2015, the program was held at eight locations and served 15,495 meals. The following year, there were 10 locations and 22,813 meals served. Last summer, breakfast and lunch were served at 14 sites and served 36,498 meals, Kravitz said.
Kravitz and her team have been recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Sunshine Award for their part in growing Del Norte’s summer food program. In 2016, Kravitz said the USDA recognized her team for reaching out to rural, tribal and underserved populations.
“We do expect that the number’s going to increase this year,” she said. “A number of organizations have reached out to me, camps and programs, just most recently the Klamath Boys and Girls Clubs and wanted to know about the program. We’ll be able to be right there at the tribal office (to) provide meals for Boys and Girls Club attendees.”
Kravitz noted that 11-12 employees give up their summer to get meals to all the Summer Food Program sites.
Kravitz said she is also working to incorporate more local produce in the meals that are served. The fresh fruits and vegetables youngsters may nosh on this summer include berries from Blueberry Hills Farms, cherry tomatoes from SeaBreeze Farm in Klamath as well as California-grown nectarines.
For more information about the Seamless Summer Food Program, find @delnortenutrition on Facebook.