A Maui County free breakfast program is “working to make sure that no children in the County of Maui go hungry when school is closed this summer,” according to a recent county press release.
All youth 18 years old or younger are eligible to receive a free breakfast any weekday.
Over 10,000 children in the County of Maui receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but many of these children do not get enough to eat when school is out. The Summer Food Service Program ensures that low-income children continue to grow and learn during the summer.
The Summer Food Service Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the largest federal resource available for local programs that combine meal time with recreational and educational activities. The PALS program offers this meals program on Maui and Molokai, which are approved areas by the federal standards.
On Molokai, there are three sites to receive free breakfast: Maunaloa Elementary School, Kilohana Elementary School and Kualapu’u Elementary Charter School. The parent or legal guardian of the youth must contact the site coordinator one week prior to beginning the program. At Kilohana, contact Channell at 336-1421; Kualapu’u, call Buffy at 336-1427, and at Maunaloa call Christina, 658-0268.
The Free Breakfast for School Children program has come a long way from Oakland of 1969 when the Black Panthers served 10,000 free meals. Since then, the idea caught on with public schools nationwide, including Maui County.
Meals are on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are unable to reach a site coordinator, it is recommended that you call Karen N. Deguilmo in advance in the PALS office at 270-7403. Information on PALS locations offering breakfast and snacks, times of meal being offered, and instructions of how to participate in the meal count will be given.
“That’s where we come in, by providing nutritious meals and activities to keep children nourished and engaged,” said Deguilmo, also known as Aunty Ti.
Aunty Ti explains, “Our responsibility to children doesn’t end when school lets out. Children who get enough to eat and have safe activities to participate in during the summer are less likely to get into mischief and trouble. Our summer breakfast and snack meals program is a building block in the community for healthy, happy children who are ready to make learning fun.”
The program continues through July 22.