A big, blue lunch bus makes it rounds within the city of Chillicothe, Monday through Friday, to serve free meals to kids.
"Mondays, we go to Danberry Cinema; Tuesday, we go to Strawser Park, which is over on Riverside Road; Wednesday, we go to Massieville Park; Thursday, we go to Westerview Park, and that's up on Second Street and Bowman; Friday, we go to the city pool," said Mary Montgomery, Food Services Director for the Chillicothe City School District.
Montgomery said that the mobile food unit, endearingly named "Babe the Big, Blue Lunch Bus," was covered in blue vinyl and features tables and counter tops on the inside; it was also renovated to be able to hold hot and cold food. According to Montgomery, it was a project that cost around $13,000 and was funded through a portion of her budge, grants, and donations from the Children's Hunger Alliance and Junior Civic League. The local Wal-Mart also donated tables, chairs, and an air conditioning unit for the summer food program.
The meals are served to any one 18 years old or younger, but they must eat their meals on site.
The Chillicothe City School District offers free breakfast and lunch to all of its students during the academic year, and Montgomery said this program is a continuation of providing for the students.
She also hopes it will help support the community's parents.
"I have three kids, and even I notice a difference." said Montgomery. "During the summer, my bills for going to the store are so much higher, so this program isn't just for an income based; it's for any parent who sees a difference from going to school and having free breakfast and lunch and going to the summer and having to provide that for their kid."
The program began June 5, and Montgomery said she has seen, while on site, that this program is a necessity for many.
"Just knowing you're fulfilling that for them, it's very overwhelming, but it's a great feeling," said Montgomery.
The program will continue through July 28 with the following schedule:
- Monday - Danberry Cinema
- Tuesday - Strawser Park
- Wednesday - Massieville Park
- Thursday - Westerview Park
- Friday - City Pool
- Monday through Thursday - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Friday - 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The summer food program also serves from Mt. Logan, Monday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. At the Mt. Logan site, parents can purchase a meal for $3 and eat with their children, said Montgomery.
To learn more, log onto ccsd.us.
(Photo submitted via Mary Montgomery)