Food & Recipes

This School District Bought A Food Truck To Serve Students Free Meals During Summer

This is so awesome!

School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean the free meals have to stop coming! The Danville public school system in Virginia purchased a food truck so that it can serve free meals to students — and non-students — in need throughout the summer season.

The purchase of the $42,000 food truck came from a “desire to feed our children as much as we can,” Phillip Gardner, Danville Public Schools director of child nutrition, told ABC News.

Because the fact is, it’s hard for some families to make sure their kids are getting the nutrition they need, but this food truck helps deliver the same meal quality children had access to throughout the year. Lunch will be served from the truck at two different locations through Aug. 1, with students eating for free and non-students being able to purchase a meal for just $3.65, according to ABC News.

The school district posted June’s menu on Twitter, and it’ll be dishing out everything from chicken wings to teriyaki beef dippers throughout the month:

Since the truck opened in June, around 600 meals have already been handed out, Gardner told WSET News. So far, parents and children seem to be loving having the food truck as an option.

“I have four children in my home and so it really helps. It helps that grocery bill, Amada Reaves, a parent who brought her kids to the truck, told WSET. “They are really good lunches and I think it’s a really awesome program.”

One student told the TV station, “It’s actually pretty good. We usually come here, like, every day.” So, clearly, this has the approval of those who pay the grocery bill and those who eat the food alike!

Virginia’s No Kid Hungry Organization, which also works to ensure children have nutritious meals during the summer months, had a chance to stop by the food truck. While there, the truck dispensed 100 meals, according to a Facebook post documenting the visit:

According to ABC News, the food truck marks the fourth location where students can get access to meals over the summer. The school district also serves meals at three different school locations, even when school’s not in session. This has been an option for students since 2014, but the food truck makes a novel addition to meal access for the area.

There are even plans in the works for this truck to come into play during the school year, rotating from school to school and serving as an “unorthodox” way for kids to get lunch, Gardner explained to ABC News.

“Our goal is to feed our kids, so whatever we can do to increase that throughout the year, the summer, the school year, we’re all for it,” Gardner told WSET.

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This Virginia school district isn’t the only one that’s working to make sure students get fed when they’re not at school, either. For example, Elkhart Community Schools in Indiana partners with a local food-rescue nonprofit, Cultivate, to create take-home meals out of leftover food from cafeterias that would otherwise become food waste. This way, students have something to eat on the weekends when school’s not in session.

Considering one in six kids in America don’t know where their next meal will come from, according to Feeding America, it’s great to see school districts like these making major efforts to provide for the children in their areas — even the ones who aren’t their own students!