Gundersen, community partners offer free summer meals to children

Gundersen Health System is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which will offer free meals to children this summer.

Beginning June 6, free meals will be available at Gundersen’s cafeteria at 1900 South Avenue, La Crosse on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on weekends from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Meals will also be offered at Poage Park, 500 Hood Street in La Crosse weekdays from 11:15-11:30 a.m.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will be administered by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Free meals will be available to children 18 years of age and under. Those older than 18 years of age who are determined by a state or local public education agency to be mentally or physical disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year may receive free meals as well.

“This program fills a void created when school lunches are not available,” says Sar Ashbeck, program director, Gundersen Nutrition & Hospitality Services. “Helping parents meet the nutritional needs of their children is the strength of this program.”

Last year, Gundersen served more than 5,000 free meals to children over the summer months.

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