HOLLAND, Mich. (WOTV) At every Maranda Park Party, kids can get a free nutritious meal thanks to the USDA, Michigan Department of Education, and local school districts. But there are opportunities for children to get free meals all summer long. One program in Holland is a collaboration between Holland Public Schools, the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, and Doing More. Together.
Holland Public Schools has 4,000 students district-wide, and of those 4,000 students, almost 70% are considered needy. During the school year, the schools offer free breakfasts for all students, lunch, after school snack, and supper in some locations. But hunger doesn’t subside when the school year is over. The need to provide meals for low income students persists year round.
During the summer, Holland Public Schools has approximately 20 locations where they serve summer meals – serving lunch at all sites, as well as breakfast at some of the sites. Each day, HPS serves about 1,000 children throughout the city of Holland. There is no limit on the number of children that can participate. All are welcome.
The summer food service program is an off-shoot of the national school lunch program, which began in 1968. It was developed due to a need to offer meals to needy children when school was not in session.