Summer break is here for many kids across the country. While that means a break from class, for some students it means an end to the free and reduced school lunch they depend on during the school year.
However, one Colorado community is making sure its children don’t go hungry this summer.
“I feel good. I love it,” says Salina Sanchez.
Sanchez operates a retired bus that was turned into a mobile café. Sanchez is part of the team at Aurora Public Schools bringing free lunches to where students are.
“Just giving the free meal and at least knowing that they're eating, and that, that's what's good,” Sanchez says.
Across the country, 1 in 6 children in America live in households without consistent access to an adequate amount of food.
In the Aurora Public Schools district, roughly 70 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch.
In the past, the school provided lunches at school cafeterias during the summer, but getting to the school was a challenge for many students. Therefore, school officials decided to transform buses going out of service into bright, mobile cafés.
“Just create a spot where they could come see us…for free,” says Stacey Bennett with the Aurora Public Schools Nutrition Services. “Not have to go into a building and just be more visible and take the food to them.
Now, three mobile cafés serve students lunch during the week at several locations. It’s free to all children, whether they are students in the district or not.
“It is a small gesture, but it has a huge impact,” Bennett says.
For Sanchez, seeing the reaction from the kids makes it all worth it.
“I have like over 600 kids. I can say that they are mine, because I treat them all as if they were mine,” Sanchez says.