For kids in school, summertime means freedom. During these warm months there’s no homework, no tests, and no early mornings waiting for the bus. However, for some kids, summer also means they’re without the daily food source that they would usually get at school. This can be a struggle for a lot of kids and families that rely on the free and reduced-price school meals for their daily sustenance and nutrition.
This past week Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary & Wellness Services officially began its Summer Food Service Program which provides nutritious and tasty meals for kids during the summer months when they don’t have access to school lunch or breakfast. And while the summer-meal program has been in action for years, this summer marks the first year Minneapolis Public Schools rolled out a brand new food truck: Street Eats.
The Street Eats food truck will be driving around the cities stopping at eight different approved locations where kids will have easy access to quality food. Street Eats will have a rotating menu of different fresh, hot-meal choices that include foods like hamburgers, rice bowls, Philly cheesesteaks, fresh fruit, yogurt, and milk. All the meals aim to be nutritious, minimally processed, and cooked from scratch. And the best part? The Street Eats food truck is absolutely free for kids ages 18 and under. All you have to do is show up and you’ll receive a free meal. There’s no registration and no questions asked. The Summer Food Service Program simply wants to help fight food insecurity so children don’t go hungry over the summer.
To know when and where you can find the Street Eats food truck, you can download the free Summer Eats Minnesota app that will guide you to the food truck’s location, when it will be there, as well as show you what’s on the menu for the day. And along with locating the truck, the Summer Eats app helps you find over 700 other locations across Minnesota that provide free and nutritious meals during the summer months. Many of these additional locations will include parks, rec centers, libraries, and community centers around the cities.
Minneapolis Public Schools hopes that with the new food truck and Summer Eats app, they will be able to expand their summer-meal program even further by covering five new communities that will serve hot and healthy meals to 15,000 kids. In a press release, Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary & Wellness Services Director Bertrand Weber says, “Only about 20 percent of the students who eat with us during the school year access our healthy meals in the summer. We want to increase that number because students in our community need access to nutritious food all year long.”
The Street Eats food truck is certainly a natural next step in helping to provide kids with easy, free, and nutritious meals over the summer. The food truck will operate until the end of summer on August 17, but before then, Street Eats is already bringing together communities for a good healthy meal on these hot summer days.