Free Summer Meals provide more than lunch for kids

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville School District provides free summer meals for kids at eight locations throughout town.

Michael Cave

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville School District provides free summer meals for kids at eight locations throughout town.

But the Summer Meals Program not only offers a free healthy lunch for kids under 18, but also education and activities — particularly nutritional education.

“It’s supposed to help merge the time between when kids get home before their parents,” said Michelle Roetcisoender, who manages the site at Westwood Crossing Apartments.

Roetcisoender, being a native of Marysville, was always in a similar spot growing up. She was often home before her parents but had “safe houses” to go to, like neighbors her parents knew.

At Roetcisoender’s location, kids are given lunch at noon, followed by educational activities unique to each week, such about science or sports.

One of the key topics is “imprinting nutritional knowledge while having fun,” teacher Rachelle Kelly said.

“Last week, we did a calcium lesson,” Kelly said. “This week we’re talking about grains.”

Kelly along with Carol Fowler work with the Washington State University Extension Food Office, where they teach nutrition to children and adults around Snohomish County.

“We just want to set healthy habits by decreasing obesity and increasing physical activity,” Fowler said.

“I think all kids should have a safe place to go to,” Roetcisoender said.

The program continues daily every week until Aug 22. They also get a snack at 2 p.m.

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