Summer vacation doesn’t end school lunches

Not all of the schools shut down for the summer. See what they’re doing in the David Douglas School district, right here …

Jenny, Buu Phung, Jason and Jacky enjoy a grilled cheeseburger lunch this summer at Earl Boyles Elementary School.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
During the month of July, two David Douglas elementary schools offered free meals to kids, ages 18 and younger for about a three-week period.

“The meals are open to any child who comes to one of the locations during breakfast or lunch meal hours,” said Dan McCue, spokesman for the district.

When we stopped by Earl Boyles Elementary School on SE Bush Street, we found a room full of youngsters enjoying a complete grilled cheeseburger lunch with all the trimmings. Simultaneously, meals were also being served in the Gateway District at Ventura Park Elementary.

“We have a lot of kids are coming to take extra classes during summer school to raise their standards in reading and math,” said head cook Cecile Thompson, who told us she’s usually the head cook at Mill Park Elementary during the year.

Head Cook, Cecile Thompson, Vicky Rothery, second cook and Katie Watson, a volunteer working into the district’s food service program doing an internship, serve up meals at Earl Boyles Elementary.

Jodi Taylor, the district’s Nutritional Services Manager, told us that the two schools served about 700 students each weekday during the program.

“Having a good lunch helps the students learn better, and helps them concentrate,” Thompson added. “Plus, the good nutrition they get here goes out the door with them. We love being able to serve them.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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