AN AFTER-SCHOOL DINNER

Food Resource Center launches program for schools kids, parents
By: 
Joseph Bullington —
Monday, October 29, 2018
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Enterprise photo by Joseph Bullington

Jacob Merideth, right, enjoys an ice cream bar after dinner with his sister Grace, center, and their father, Josh, left, at the Livingston Food Resource Center on Friday evening. The meal marked the kickoff of the center’s new After School Dinner Program for school kids and parents.

On Friday, the Livingston Food Resource Center launched a new program to help make sure Park County children get enough to eat after school.

“Every school kid is hungry when they get out of school,” said LFRC Executive Director Michael McCormick. “We want to make sure that all school children in Livingston have access to good, nutritious food.”

The Center’s After School Dinner Program will offer a free meal to all school age kids and accompanying parents from 4 to 6 p.m. every Friday that school is in session. The next dinner will be held Friday, Nov. 9.

Kids who attend the meals will also be offered “healthy weekend bags” of fruits, vegetables and snacks to help them get through the weekend. Usually, the food pantry at the center is open for distribution only from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but now the pantry will also be open to families who attend the Friday after school meals.

“We see a lot of kids who need a good meal,” said McCormick. “Particularly after school, a lot of kids go home to households where parents are working and they’re pretty much on their own in terms of getting something to eat.”

According to McCormick, the goal is not only to feed kids but to feed them highly nutritious food.

For last Friday night’s meal, the Center’s kitchen prepared pans of “loaded” macaroni and cheese, steamed local carrots, potato and kale latkes (a kind of pancake, from Jewish cooking tradition), and a Halloween specialty they called “mummies” — sausages wrapped in flaky phyllo dough.

The mac and cheese was “loaded” with bread crumbs on top, but it was also packed with cauliflower and white beans, to increase its nutritional value, said McCormick.

But it wasn’t all kale and vitamins. Kids who finished their plates — and some who didn’t — we’re offered their choice of Wilcoxson’s ice cream bar for dessert.

To learn more about the program and for a complete schedule of after school meals, people can call the Center at 406-222-5335.