CROOKSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES EAT UNITED FREE SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM FOR 2021

The Eat United Free Summer Food Service Program will be back in Crookston again this summer, providing free meals to all youth ages 0-18.

There will be a grab-and-go service at Highland School from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting June 7 through July 29.

The service will be grab and go again this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place during program planning. “We are going to operate very similar to how we operated last year,” said Ogaard-Brekken. “We start our planning for summer food in February and March, and that that point, restrictions were not lifted. Families can pick up lunch for that day as well as breakfast for them to consume the next day or as a snack, however, they want to do that.”

The free meals are offered through the USDA and supported locally by the United Way of Crookston. “The main source of the income is the USDA,” said Ogaard-Brekken. “It’s funded through the USDA and, we get reimbursed for each meal served. That’s why I like to make sure everyone knows it’s for all children 0-18 years. Each meal we give away, we increase our income for the program. We also receive a grant from the United Way of Crookston. Since day one of operation, they’ve been a great supporter of this program when we started it back in 2015. They’ve always granted us money to continue paying for this service and the meals for the children. So, we’re really appreciative of the United Way of Crookston for that.”

The program is looking for volunteers to help distribute meals. “We desperately need volunteers again this summer,” said Ogaard-Brekken. “We did volunteers to run the door of Highland Elementary School and to distribute the meals to the families and children. Our cooks will be in the back preparing them as they need them, so we need someone distributing them. We’re asking for organizations; we’ve had awesome organizations in the past. American Crystal has already offered volunteers for this year, Trinity Lutheran Church has too, so we’re super appreciative of them. We only need 1-2 volunteers a day for an hour to an hour and a half. If there are any individuals out there that are interested in volunteering, they can contact me directly. We would love, love, love our volunteers. It’s the only way we keep this program running.”

Ogaard Brekken can be contacted at 218-281-5313 x 7 or at annaogaard@isd593.org.

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