KCK Program Brings No-Cost Healthy Meals to Students This Summer

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‘Dotte Meals aims to expand free meals to more kids in need across the city.

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'The program is like the district’s existing free-lunch or afterschool meal programs,' said Gwen Childs, KCKPS’s Nutritional Services Operations Manager.

Kids in Kansas City, Kansas can receive up to two meals a day through the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) district’s ‘Dotte Meals program. The meals will be served in June and July at 40 locations across the city.

“The program is like the district’s existing free-lunch or afterschool meal programs,” said Gwen Childs, KCKPS’s Nutritional Services Operations Manager.

“‘Dotte Meals is meant to reach more children and teens, regardless of whether those kids are in summer school.”

Last year, KCKPS had approximately 30 summer meals locations that served an average of 950 breakfast and 1,600 lunch meals daily. But the district is hoping to reach a significantly larger number of children.

This year, any child between the ages of 1 and 18 can come and have breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday during June and July. All children in the area – including over 21,000 students in the district – are eligible to eat these summer meals. Meanwhile, Wyandotte County was recently noted as having the highest rate of “food insecurity” (lack of access to nutritious food) in Kansas.

Each site determines the exact dates and times they serve the meals, which are listed on the KCKPS district website. The meals will be served at 40 locations across Kansas City, Kansas, including schools, community centers, and even apartment complexes.

In addition to the increased reach of the program, ‘Dotte Meals will put a new focus on nutrition. Promotional materials for the program introduce kids to characters like Ms. Strawberry and Mr. Broccoli that represent the healthy ingredients that will be used in meals served to students.

“We’re not just trying to feed more kids, we’re trying to sell them (and their parents) on the value of healthy eating,” says Childs.

More information about ‘Dotte Meals can be found at kckps.org/schools or by calling 2-1-1 in KCK.

‘Dotte Meals is part of the Cities Combating Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS) initiative, organized by the National League of Cities. KCKPS and Healthy Communities Wyandotte are partners in this initiative.

Please contact David Smith at the communications office at Kansas City Kansas Public Schools at 913-279-2242.

About Healthy Communities Wyandotte
Healthy Communities Wyandotte's (HCW) mission is to mobilize the community to improve health and well-being in Wyandotte County through increased communication, coordination, and culture change. Operating within the Health Department, the countywide coalition aims to help Wyandotte become the most improved county for health in the state of Kansas through innovative leadership and community participation.

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Sarah Shipley