Expanded school supper program helps kids get enough to eat - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Expanded school supper program helps kids get enough to eat

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla-- For some parents, putting food on the table can be a struggle, whether it’s because of a tight budget or simply being on the run all the time.

Now, a newly expanded program in the Palm Beach County district schools is working to change that.

The school Supper Program is for schools where more than half the student body is on the free and reduced meal program.

For many of these students it means having one more meal they can count on.

On the menu Monday: BBQ chicken with crackers, sunflower seeds and applesauce.

This isn’t lunch, though. It’s supper, and it’s free for students in any after school program at Belvedere Elementary.

I love to eat food, and I got to have more than I usually do.” For some students like Jemika Sainthea, it means going to bed with enough food in her belly.

“I’m going to get to go to bed and my stomach’s going to be full, and tomorrow morning I won’t just have to be begging to hurry up and get breakfast done," said Sainthea.

The district tested out the Supper Program at four schools last year and expanded  to 16 other schools this year.

“Many of the children, they don’t have the resources at home. Their parents don’t have the resources to make sure they’re fed every day. So, this allows them to have that meal that they may need at the end of the day," said Allison Monbleau, director of food services with the district.

More than 90 percent of the students at these schools are on the free and reduced meal program. The program is completely funded by the USDA.

For some parents like Glenda Cirilo, who works two jobs, it’s nice to know her daughter is not waiting to eat.

“It’s hard to try and get home and cook and clean and try and get them organized, so at least that helps me out with an extra meal," said Cirilo.

Not only is it an extra meal, it’s nutritious. “It’s a healthy option. You can’t get a lot of healthy options working on a budget," said Cirilo.

Monday kicked off the start of the program at the expanded schools. It is up to each school to decide what time to serve supper after school.

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