For some students, school lunch is the only consistent, healthy meal they can look forward to during the day. Though school is out, it doesn’t mean those youth have to go hungry or ditch their healthy eating habits.
This summer, Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary and Wellness Services has launched Street Eats, a new food truck service, to give children and teens 18 and younger greater access to a free, nutritious meal.
The food trucks (and a food bus) are stationed at approximately 10 school sites — including Anwatin Middle School, Heritage Academy and Washburn High School — throughout the city each week. The food trucks offer a rotating menu of fresh-cooked lunch options, including Philly cheesesteaks, Korean rice bowls and Angus burgers. The bus, which has actually been around for five years, serves cold, picnic-style meals.
“Only about 20 percent of the students who eat with us during the school year access our healthy meals in the summer,” said Bertrand Weber, MPS Culinary & Wellness Services director, in a press statement last October. “We want to increase that number because students in our community need access to nutritious food all year long.”
The Street Eats mobile eateries are just one part of a citywide effort to provide access to free healthy meals to youth in low-income areas during the summer when school is out. Summer Eats, part of the federally-funded Summer Food Service program, offers a list of 700 locations (150 in Minneapolis alone) across the state that offer free meals to students.
Parents and youth can find a truck or other food location near them by texting “Summer Meals” to 97779 or downloading a free app by searching “Summer Eats Minnesota” via their smartphone’s app store.
Stephenetta Harmon is a Black beauty editor, curator, and digital media and communications expert who builds platforms to celebrate the power, impact, and business of Black beauty. She is the former EIC for Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (2018-19) and current host of MSR Forefront, a digital roundtable series. She is the founder of Sadiaa Black Beauty Guide, the premier directory dedicated to Black-owned hair and beauty businesses. Find her at stephenetta.com.