Schools, food banks team up to provide summer lunches for those in need


Schools may be letting out, but some kids still depend on them for breakfast and lunch.

Local food banks are pitching in to help free breakfast and lunch programs continue this summer.

As part of the backpack program, qualifying students can receive free breakfast and lunch during the school year. Those same students can also get their meals during summer break.

Anyone 18 and under can get the meals.

"We do a summer school program -- it starts up immediately after school is out. It starts June 12. Kids 18 and under can come and get a free breakfast and/or lunch. They can do both. It doesn't matter if they are a student of Missoula Public Schools, or even if they are a resident of Missoula or just passing through," Missoula County Public Schools food services supervisor Stacy Rossmiller said.

The Montana Food Bank Network continues to distribute the backpack lunches throughout the summer.

"This year we've planted 11 sites now that will be offering summer food sites and backpacks in companion with that. So some of them are Boys and Girls Clubs, some of them are food sites, some are schools that the kids are at during the summer months," Montana Food Bank Network CEO Gayle Carlson said.

Organizers still say they're facing a growing challenge. As many as 1,700 Missoula County students will receive free breakfasts and lunches this fall.

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