AKRON, Ohio — Starting Monday, Akron Public Schools will be working to nourish the stomachs and minds of children across the city for free.
The summer meals program kicks off Monday. Anyone in the city of Akron 18 or younger can get a free grab-and-go meal, no questions asked, at locations across the city, including schools where students can still sign up right now for free summer learning programs and camps. You do not have to be a student of Akron Public Schools to get the free meals.
A majority of students at Akron Public Schools are food insecure.
"Ninety-five to 96% of our children would qualify for free lunches if we were to collect applications, said Becky Fox, a supervisor at Akron Public School's summer meal program.
Grab-and-go bags funded by the USDA will include a breakfast and a hot lunch and can be picked up Monday through Friday from Noon to 1 p.m.
All children in the city are eligible and you don't have to sign up.
The meals program will also provide free hot summer cafeteria lunches for kids enrolled in Akron Public Schools' extended summer learning programs and camps.
"Kids in high poverty, they tend to lose their information faster over the summer without a connection to, you know, ongoing support," said Desiree Bolden, a manager of Extended Learning Programs.
The district received more than $10 million in federal money to help teachers plan hands-on experiences.
"It's really exciting. We have never done something on this scale in the summertime," Bolden said.
The district is offering classes to catch up on any subjects as well as non-traditional programs like cosmetology and manufacturing for high schoolers and camps for elementary and middle school students.
"Our kids are so tech-savvy that to incorporate that into our curriculum for summer has been huge," Bolden said.
No matter how many classes you enroll in, these programs are free to Akron students.
For more info on the summer meals program, click here.
For more info on the summer learning program, click here.