At Williams Valley School District, There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

PORTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A school district that serves Dauphin and Schuylkill counties is offering free meals to anybody under the age of 18 this summer.

It's the middle of the summer, but still, the cafeteria at Williams Valley Elementary School in Porter Township is packed.

"We are in a disadvantaged area, and to have them come in here knowing they're safe and having a meal, it's very rewarding to get that thank you from the children that they've gotten fed today, and I think they appreciate it," said Williams Valley Elementary Assistant Principal Judy Schappe.

The smiles on their faces sure make it seem as though they are thankful. The Williams Valley School District is right on the Schuylkill/Dauphin county line. Some kids who go to school there don't always know where their next meal is coming from or if they'll be fed during these summer months, so the district is helping those in need by offering free lunches Monday through Thursday as part of its seamless summer program.

"When you have kids that don't always get as much food and help that they need, it's good to see that we can help out and provide extra food for them," said business manager Amy Tomalavage.

This program isn't just for the students. Anybody from anywhere can come here to get a free meal, as long as you're under 18 years old. Anybody who is 18 or over, it'll cost you $3.95.

"I have to say this is my favorite part of the schedule in school here because we don't just get to eat. We get to hang out with our friends and talk and see people we usually don't see during the day," said sixth grader Taylor Mordan.

Williams Valley qualifies for Community Eligibility Provision, a meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. So even during the school year, students can receive free breakfast and lunches.

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