Owl Creek School to offer free children’s lunches this summer

A farm to school lunch from Apple Seeds Inc. commonly includes items like herb roasted chicken from Little Portions Monastery, sautéed organic sugar snap peas from Brannon Mountain Farms, spinach and salad greens from Charlie’s Produce and strawberry shortcake with berries from Dickey Farms.

Photo: Apple Seeds Inc. Facebook page

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s usually true.

Here in Fayetteville, however, the folks at Owl Creek Elementary school will serve free lunches for children 18 years and younger for a majority of the summer.

The summer lunch program is made possible by the federally funded National School Lunch Program, and Owl Creek has been participating for several years.

Adam Simmons, head of the school district’s child nutrition service said that participation in the program each summer has been high.

“We’re right across from the Boys and Girls Club, so we get a lot of kids from over there,” he said. “It has been pretty popular.”

This year, local organization Apple Seeds Inc. has partnered with the school to test a new Farm to School pilot program, with a goal to educate participants about local foods and healthy eating.

Simmons said the program is funded by a SSARS “bridge grant” intended to bridge the gap from local farmers to the cafeteria trays of local schools.

“Any time we can buy local meats or local produce, we buy local,” Simmons said.

The free lunch program will be offered weekdays between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Monday, June 4 through Friday, August 3. No meals will be served July 3-5.

Owl Creek School is located at 365 N. Rupple Road.