Milton, Vt.- Food, fun, and face painting is what brought the Milton community together at the school grounds Friday afternoon.
"We try to make it fun for the kids, you know light and easy,” said Milton School District Director of Food Services Steve Marinelli. “It is summer but we want to make sure we get the proper nutrition into our kids."
Marinelli and other volunteers helped put on 3rd annual summer food service kickoff. The United States Department of Agriculture provided funding for the food at the barbecue.
"We're trying to get more than just feeding them a meal out of a cafeteria,” Marinelli said. “We're trying to expose them from the start to finish of food."
Representatives from Hunger Free Vermont were also there to promote the importance of summer nutrition for kids.
"Child nutrition is about making sure the kids are eating enough,” said Child Nutrition Advocate for Hunger Free Vermont Derrick Lambert. “It's about making sure they're eating the right things, and the summer food service addresses both of those."
Through the program, Chittenden county kids 18 and younger can get free meals Monday through Friday through mid August.
The summer program requires no registration or application. All you have to do is show up ready to eat.
"Outreach is key,” Lambert said. Making sure people know where and when meals are offered in the summertime."
The summer meals include breakfast and lunch, and can be found in different sites across the county.
To find where summer meals are being served near you, you can call 2-1-1 from your cell phone, or text “mealsVT” to 8-7-7-8-7-7.