IMPERIAL VALLEY – When the final school bell rings, the long awaited summer vacation is here. Yet with schools closed, some families have difficulty feeding their children now that meals are not available through the school programs.
This is where the valley-wide Free Meals program comes in. The lunch program is meant to give children a chance to have at least one good meal out of the day during the summer. Families with children from 0 to 18 years can come to the schools serving food and eat breakfast or lunch depending on the time they come. The students don’t need to attend the school to be eligible.
In Calipatria and Westmorland, this program has been implemented into the summer school program, but according to Calipatria Assistant Superintendent Angie Ortiz, they get a few families coming in taking advantage of the situation that don’t have children in summer school. The same situation is seen at Westmorland Elementary with their program.
With food in their bellies students are able to focus better on lessons in the classrooms. At the same time it helps the families in need. Both Calipatria and Westmorland school meals are open to any family that walks through the doors.
Free meals can be found at Bill Young Jr. High School in Calipatria, Heber Elementary School District, Westmorland Elementary School in Westmorland, and Imagine Schools in El Centro.