This summer, the Colchester School District’s free lunch program is expanding to include breakfast, for all school-age kids–no matter their income level.

“We’re feeding kids in the summertime when they normally don’t have access to school meals,” says Steve Davis, Director of Food and Services in Colchester. The program is organized and primarily funded by the National School Lunch program and is available to all kids under the age of 18 from June 24 to August 16.

This is also the first year that meals will be delivered to Malletts Bay School and Porter’s Point school, not just Colchester Middle School where the kitchen is located. “Last year, everybody had to eat their meals at the middle school,” said Davis, explaining that this way, more kids will benefit from the program and that hopefully, they will also get more walk-ins. “The more people we feed, the better it is.”

According to Davis, most summer meal programs have to have more than 50 percent of students receiving free or reduced price meals. But through some helpful digging, Hunger Free Vermont found an area that qualified the district to serve free summer meals.

Hunger Free Vermont is an organization that works to end hunger in the state through education, public outreach and meal services. According to their website, 17,726 Vermont children under the age of 18, do not have regular access to nutritious food. But many kids are able to eat healthy food regularly through school nutrition programs.

“There is a hunger problem in this country,” says Davis, noting how important programs like this are. “Any child of school age, whether they’re in kindergarten or a senior in high school, can walk into any of these schools and get a free meal. They can be from Wisconsin, and we’ll make sure they get something to eat.”

From June 24-August 16, breakfast will be served from 8 am to 10 am, and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. No meals will be provided on July 4th. The summer menu is available on the Colchester School District website.