Nearly 12,000 meals served as part of Keystone Oaks’ Free Summer Lunch Program
This summer, Keystone Oaks School District served nearly 12,000 lunches to children in and around the communities of Castle Shannon, Dormont and Green Tree, almost doubling the amount of free lunches that were provided in 2015, the first year of the program.
Keystone Oaks School District operated six of the nearly 300 summer lunch sites in Allegheny County and was one of approximately 30 sponsors of the Summer Lunch Program, which provides any children under the age of 18 with a free nutritious bagged lunch each weekday.
“This year’s Summer Lunch Program was successful because of the support of our community partners,” said Kevin Lloyd, Keystone Oaks’ Director of Food Services. “Without their dedication to the program and their willingness to provide resources, activities for children and other in-kind donations, the program would not have been nearly as successful.”
For example, children enrolled in Dormont Borough’s summer recreation program received a free lunch daily. Children who visited the Castle Shannon Library distribution site were able to play outdoor games and engage in other activities with the children’s librarian. Additional distribution sites included Keystone Oaks High School, Castle Shannon Borough’s and Green Tree Borough’s summer recreation programs, and the Alvern Gardens housing complex.
“In southwestern Pennsylvania, there are more than 140,000 children on the free and reduced lunch program and the number of Keystone Oaks’ students eligible for the program is continually on the rise,” Lloyd said. “We know that a lot of children rely on school lunch and that need doesn’t stop because school isn’t in session. We are proud to be able to provide children in this community with a nutritious meal each weekday throughout the summer.”
The Summer Lunch Program is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2015, community organizations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania served 1,057,504 lunches at more than 600 distribution sites.