Bay City offers free lunches to students all summer long

BAY CITY (WJRT) (07/10/19) - Summer break from school is a relaxing time where kids are stress-free, but that's not the case for all during long breaks from school.

"For a lot of kids, those are bad times where they're going to have to go home and they're going to have to figure out how they're going to eat or how they're going to take care of themselves. When we provide opportunities for those kids like this, then they don't have to worry about that kind of stuff," Natalie Walther, a resident from Essexville, said.

Bay City Public Schools serves free breakfast, lunch, and snacks at 16 different locations throughout the county. It's for all kids ages 0 to 18. They don't have to live in Bay County or even attend Bay City Public Schools.

"We eat 365 days out of the year. Just because they're not in school, doesn't mean we don't need to be feeding them. We are very fortunate here in Bay County to have a lot of different partnerships and organizations who are trying to make sure every child that needs a lunch or a breakfast or a snack is able to get one," Janet Nettleton said. Nettleton is the BCS Director of Nutrition Services.

"Meet Up and Eat Up" is sponsored through the Department of Education and USDA. Bay City Public Schools also partners with the Children's Concert Series. Whether it's a magician, a juggler, or a puppet master, the show knows how to draw an energetic crowd.

"I love how they give out free food and we get to have fun for all their acts that they do in the show," Annalise Cushway said.

Still, Bay City Public Schools can't do this alone. 50 percent of Bay County Children are eligible for free or reduced lunch during the school year, so Bob Younce at Devout Sprout Salad Bar & Eatery decided to lend a helping hand.

"One of our core values here at Devout Sprout Salad Bar & Eatery is community. Not just us, but the rest of City Market too. We are a family and we are a part of the Bay City, Bay County community, and we want to help out when we can," Younce said.

In just three weeks of summer, Devout Sprout has served over 220 kids meals, and they'll continue all summer long during all business hours.

To find their hours or to locate any of Bay City Public School's Meet Up and Eat Up sites, visit the related links tab.

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