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Columbia announces extension of lunch programs over the summer for students


Students across Columbia Public Schools will head out Tuesday afternoon for summer break.

While this is a joyous time for students, there is concern about nutrition over the summer, specifically for kids who rely on free and reduced-price lunch programs in school. 

Eleven Columbia schools provide free breakfast to all students enrolled in the program while four schools provide free lunch to all students enrolled. 

According to a state report from Feeding Missouri, 41 percent of families that relied on food pantries had at least one child under 18 years old. Without free and reduced-price lunch programs in school many kids would not be able to get a proper nutritional diet.

"During the school year they have a regular source of school means during the week day but now that it’s summer time they don’t have that opportunity," Ryan Sheen a Public Information Specialist for the City of Columbia said. "So summer lunch sites help fill the gap in there. And actually they are still getting school lunches cause we get them with our contract with Columbia Public Schools. And they follow the same nutritional guidelines that normal school lunches do."

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it has partnered with Powerhouse Community Development Corporation, Columbia Public Schools and Columbia Parks and Recreation to host eight summer lunch program sites. The eight sites will serve as an extension to the school’s free and reduced-price lunch program.

The locations are as follows:


Armory Sports & Recreation Center, 700 E. Ash St., lunch from to 1 p.m. 

CHA Stewart-Parker, 225 Unity Drive, lunch noon to 12:30 p.m. and snack from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.


Demaret Drive, 718 Demaret Drive, lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. and snack from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.

McKee Street Park, 1900 McKee St., lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and snack from 1 to 1:15 p.m.

CHA Bear Creek, 1109 Elleta Blvd., lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. and snack from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.


Again Street Park, 1200 Again St., lunch from noon to 1 p.m.

Columbia Square, 1715 W. Worley St., lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and snack from 12:30 to 12:45 p.m.

Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 702 Banks Ave., lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and snack from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.

These locations have changed from the previous year and all sites will be closed on July 4. 

Sheen explained why the changes were made.  

"During the pandemic we did basically just grab and go. You just take your meals and go," Sheen said. "Now that the pandemic is over we are required to provide some activities. so that has caused us to use less locations now because we have to provide more."

Further details and a flier about the Columbia summer lunch program sites can be found on the City of Columbia website:

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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