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Free summer meal program is under way in Peoria

FILE - This Sept. 11, 2012 file photo shows a healthy chicken salad school lunch, prepared under federal guidelines, sitting on display at the cafeteria at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

No child should be left hungry this summer.

That’s the mission of the free summer meal program for kids in the Peoria Unified School District.

“We’ve been providing free meals for several years now,” said Sandra Schossow, director of food and nutrition with Peoria Unified School District. “This year we have 18 sites available at all of our Peoria schools.”

The free meals are part of the USDA Summer Food Program for Children.

“We usually have about 5,000 meals that we serve every day throughout the summer. When they come to our schools, they always have the fresh fruits and vegetables, they always have entrées, they have their choices of the milk,” Schossow said. “There’s always something good for them and it’s also nutritious. Our Peoria kids have options for nutritious meals all summer long.”

She said they don’t want students to be able to have that benefit during the school year then spend all summer eating what they can find.

The program is available for all students under 18 years old, and they don’t have to be Peoria students.

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