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Schools fight to have meal pickup programs continue throughout summer

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Posted at 5:08 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:08:48-04

LANSING, Mich. — June 30 marks the end of a lot of school meal pick-up programs, but some schools in Ingham County are applying for a program that will feed students throughout the summer.

Dori Leyko, East Lansing Schools Superintendent said, "We know that there is going to be a need for meals all summer so we applied for the summer meal program that would start July 1 and go up until the first week of school starting."

The meal programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The schools tally the number of meals that are served and are reimbursed by the federal government.

For some families the meal pick-up program is how they feed their kids.

Jason Mellema, Ingham County Intermediate School District Superintendent said, "This is real. You have people who are truly struggling with food insecurities right now that have never struggled before. You have people who have never been unemployed. The fact that schools can partner and say 'Hey we're going to take care of some of your meals. That'll relieve some of the stress in your life,' that is huge."

Since schools closed back in March, the Ingham County Intermediate School District has served over 1 million meals to families.

Schools interested in continuing to feed their students during the summer needed to apply for the program, however, those applications were due last week.

Leyko said she is hopeful her school district will receive the funding for the summer program.

She expects an answer to the school's application within the next two weeks.

If approved all students 18 and under and special needs students up to 26 years-old will be qualified.

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