On Friday, June 14, the Seaford School District kicked off its Summer Food Program.
Each summer, the program serves lunches to students in the Seaford-Blades area at many locations and hopes to serve over 25,000 meals this year. The kick-off was well attended by students and parents. Also, in attendance was Delaware’s first lady Tracey Carney, USDA Branch Chief Tim Walsh and State Senator Bryant Richardson.
Director of Food Services, William Mengel is very happy with how the staff has run the program.
“The purpose of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is to provide healthy meals to children over the summer months,” said Mengel. “These months are challenging times for children who are used to receiving meals daily when school is in session, then suddenly those meals are gone, not readily available. Food insecurity issues are real for so many children who don’t know where their next meal will come from. The SFSP is an excellent way to support children by providing quality meals that will help feed, fuel and energize them while providing opportunities to engage with other participating children in various activities that are often tied to the SFSP.”
Mengel continued, “The location and times for each location for the program are: 10:45 Mobile Gardens; 10:45 Seaford Meadows; 11:20 Clarence St. Church of God; 11:25 Blades Park; 11:55 Seaford Presbyterian Church; 12:00 St. Johns UMC; 12:30 Seaford Library; 12:40 Meadow Bridge; 1:10 Christ Lutheran Church; 1:15 West Seaford Elementary, Pool Side; Seaford High School cafeteria will offer breakfast from 7:45 to 8:15 and lunch from 11:45 to 12:15. However, due to the Blades bridge closure this summer, start times have been pushed back 10 minutes for St. John’s UMC, Meadowbridge and West Seaford Elementary, Pool Side.”
Mengel added, “Getting around the Seaford community has become a bit of nightmare.”
Over the last several years, the program has served: 2016 – 8,604 meals; 2017 – 20,093 meals; 2018 – 24,383 meals; 2019 – projecting over 25,000 meals.
“Going forward, I believe we have the ‘meals’ side of the program operating well,” stated Mengel. “On the ‘activities’ side of the program, we have excellent and well-supporting partnerships established who provide various activities for the participating children. Partners like the Seaford Library, the Sussex County Bookmobile, the Seaford School District Curriculum Department, and several local farmers including the Frozen Farmer, TS Smith and Sons, and Marvelous Produce have been incredible to collaborate with to receive fresh produce and ice cream for the kids. However, we are always looking to expand our partnerships who would support more activities for the children of the Seaford community. The more community involvement we can get, the greater the program will be. Contact the Nutrition Services department supervisor, Bill Mengel at 302-629-4587 if you would like to become involved in this amazing summer program.”