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Published on May 26, 2021

Gundersen, community partners offer free summer meal program

Gundersen Health System will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program to offer nutritious meals to children during the summer.

The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, makes sure meals are available to school-age children when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable.

Free meals will be available to children age 18 and under. Those older than 18 who are determined by a state or local public education agency to be mentally or physical disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the school year may receive free meals also.

Breakfast will be served 6:30 to 10:29 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays June 7 to Aug. 27 at the Gundersen Cafeteria. Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 when entering the facility.

Lunch will be available from 11:15 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays June 7 to July 14 at Poage Park, 500 Hood St., in La Crosse.

Meals will be unavailable at either location on July 5.

No child will be turned away.

"This program fills a void created when school lunches are not available," said Sara Ashbeck, administrative director, Gundersen Nutrition & Hospitality Services. "Helping parents meet the nutritional needs of their children is the strength of this program."

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