Free breakfast and lunch available to all Manchester children
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Jul. 7, 2011
The Manchester Board of Education is again offering free meals to children 18 years old or younger as part of its Summer Food Service program. For individuals with disabilities, the age range is extended to 21 years old.
The free meals are served at area schools Monday through Friday, and no pre-registration is required. Breakfast is available from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Any child can stop in at Nathan Hale, Robertson, Verplanck, Waddell or Washington elementary schools for the free breakfast or lunch. Children enrolled in programs at the Manchester Regional Academy, Bowers, Martin or Bennett can also receive the free meals.
Lori Henry and Briget Mazzetta, who are the high school’s head cook and kitchen manager during the school year, will be serving some 300 students at Robertson Elementary School. Each day, they ready the bagged breakfasts, which typically include cereal or a muffin, juice, milk and graham crackers.
“The kids get excited when they see the menu,” said Henry. The menus for the hot lunches include hamburgers, chicken nuggets, pancakes and sausage, nachos supreme, toasted cheese sandwiches, chicken Cesar wrap and mozzarella sticks. There is also a cold option available with bagel and cream cheese. All lunches also include juice and fresh fruit.
“We’re the busiest site,” said Henry, noting that the majority of the students are participating in summer camp or summer school at Robertson.
She noted that the kids are all very friendly. For many children, there is a special connection with the “lunch ladies,” because lunch time is a social time during school.
There are no income requirements or registration of any kind in order to receive the free meals. The program runs weekdays through Friday, Aug. 12.
The free meal program is sponsored through the Connecticut Board of Education's “Seamless Summer Option,” which is part of the national program to fund meals for school children.
For more information, contact the Manchester Board of Education at 860-647-3461 or visit the website boe.townofmanchester.org/departments/foodnutrition/food_nutrition.htm