Nearly 200 children and parents enjoyed a delicious meal at Studio School in Northglenn (Adams 12 County) today. They will be finishing up the summer program on Friday so they can prepare for the new school year, but they are still having strong numbers. On any given day, they will have between 2 and 4 daycare centers bringing children for lunch. Aside from the childcare numbers, they have 50-75 children who attend lunch with their families.
As I stepped-in to help carry trays for moms with toddlers, I realized that they expected this service. It’s not that these moms are demanding, but that the lunch staff regularly help these mothers. The parents are depending on and trusting the lunch staff headed by Diane Waken. I love the community being built around lunch.
Through my many site visits (40+) this summer, I have found that it is not the federal funding that makes the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) a success, it is the lunch staff. The staff who organize, publicize, make, serve and clean-up are the key to the program. Any time I ask parents what they would change and what is the best part of the program, it is always the same answer and it was the same for Studio School as well. The parents and children like the community feel, stability (safety and consistency) of the program, friends they meet and nutritious food. If lunch participants could change things, they would limit the restrictions as to who gets to eat the meal or how much food is given.