Courtesy of Mike Christopherson (Crookston Daily Times)
Crookston Public Schools’ Eat United Summer Food Service Program wrapped up its season on Aug. 9, and Crookston School District Food Services Director Anna Brekken reports that 4,725 meals were served at two sites, with 4,580 of those being free meals served to youth from birth to age 18 and 145 meals served to paying adults.
“It was fun to see all the new and familiar faces come out to both Highland and Wildwood parks,” Brekken said.
The program ran for 32 days over eight weeks, with one day at Wildwood Park being cancelled due to severe weather.
Many made this summer’s program a success, Brekken said.
She elaborates: “We had a great group of volunteers that helped serve the students daily from varying organizations which include Cathedral School, Crookston Public Schools, Trinity Lutheran Church, Tri-Valley Foster Grandparent Program, Polk County Public Health, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, American Crystal Sugar, University of Minnesota Extension, Riverview Health, and the United Way of Crookston,” Brekken said. “It’s also important for me to recognize Scott Riopelle and the Parks and Recreation Department for allowing us to use their beautiful parks all summer to run this program. They did a wonderful job keeping the facilities clean and helped with any questions or concerns I had this summer. We could not have ran this program without the support of our volunteers and Crookston Parks and Recreation Department.”
An important component of the program is Tri-Valley Opportunity Council providing free transportation to and from the meal sites on T.H.E. Bus.
“This allowed students to participate in this program from neighborhoods outside of our service sites,” Brekken said.
A grant from the United Way of Crookston covered some of the labor costs this summer, she added.
The Summer Food Service Program is a nationally funded program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.