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Free Summer Meals for Youth

HIDOE News Release 

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced that 83 public schools will serve meals free of charge over the summer to children ages 18 years and younger, regardless of public school enrollment status, through its summer food service program. Three schools on Molokai are participating in the program.

Beginning in early June, the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) program will serve meals at select schools Monday through Friday, with the exception of June 10 (King Kamehameha Day) and July 4 (Independence Day). SSO is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and was established to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer. 

“Good nutrition is vital to the health and development of our growing keiki and summer food service programs help to ensure that meals are available for all school-aged children during the summer break,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “We encourage our parents to make these meals part of your child’s summer schedules to give them balanced and nutritious options. We thank our devoted cafeteria staff and administrators and our federal partners for making this program possible each year.”

Participating schools on Molokai are Kaunakakai Elementary, Molokai Middle and Molokai High, which will all be serving meals Monday through Friday except observed holidays. Kaunakakai School will be serving meals June 6-30 with breakfast from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. and lunch between 10:45 and 11:45 a.m. Molokai Middle will be serving June 6 to July 8, with breakfast from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. and lunch 11:30 am to 12 p.m. Molokai High will offer meals June 6 to July 15, with breakfast 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to the DOE. Call individual schools for more information. 

Summer meals will no longer be offered in “Grab and Go” containers and will return to on-campus dining only, the standard format used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meal recipients do not have to be enrolled at a participating school to be served, and meals will consist of solid foods. For special diet accommodations, please email specialdiets@k12.hi.us with as much detail as possible.

Schools eligible for the SSO program must have 50 percent or more of its regularly enrolled students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches and some type of summer program on campus.


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