IOWA, USA — Over the past few months, inflation in the U.S. has risen at the fastest rate in more than 40 years. It's driven up the cost of everything from gasoline to housing to food, leaving families and businesses scrambling to make up the difference.
But what, if any, impact will inflation have on free meal services through schools?
Many school districts and cities offer their students free breakfast and/or lunch over the summer as a way to ensure kids are getting the nutrients they need, which is something parents may rely on more now that food has become so expensive.
Below is a quick look at what free meal programs in central Iowa will look like this summer. This story will be updated as more information is confirmed by cities and school districts.
The West Des Moines School District is providing meals for Clive kids this summer, Monday through Friday from June 9 to Aug. 12, although no meals will be provided on July 4.
For anyone under the age of 18, breakfast is available from 7:45-8:15 a.m. and lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Clive is requiring that kids eat the meals at the distribution site, which this year will be the Harbach Center, located at 8505 Harbach Blvd.
Meals will not be served at any location on July 4.
- June 6-30
- Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Brody Middle School (2501 Park Ave)
- Hoyt Middle School (2700 East 42nd St)
- Meredith Middle School (4827 Madison Ave)
June 6-Aug. 12 Meal Sites (except July 4)
- Monday-Friday, 10:45 a.m.-Noon
- Brubaker Elementary (2900 East 42nd St)
- Carver Elementary (705 East University Ave)(No meals July 4-8 )
- Cattell Elementary (3101 East 12th St)
- Crivaro Park, (1105 E Railroad Ave)
- Hiatt Middle School (1430 East University Ave)(No meals July 4-8 )
- Hillis Elementary (2401 56th St)
- Jackson Elementary (3825 Indianola Ave)
- McCombs Middle School (201 County Line Rd)
- Moore Elementary (3716 50th St)(No meal service July 4-8)
- River Woods Elementary (2929 SE 22nd St)
- Studebaker Elementary (300 E. County Line Rd)(No meals July 4-8)
- Union Park (725 Thompson Ave)
July 6-July 1 Meal Sites
- Monday-Friday, 10:45 a.m.-Noon
- Garton Elementary (2820 E. 24th St)
- McKinley Elementary (1610 SE 6th St)
- Merrill Middle School (5301 Grand Ave)
- Morris Elementary School (1401 Geil Ave)
- Park Avenue Elementary (3141 SW 9th St)
- South Union Elementary (4201 South Union St)
- Windsor Elementary (5912 University Ave)
Jule 13-July 22 Meal Sites (except July 4)
- Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- Findley Elementary (5912 University Ave)
The Johnston Community School District is also offering free meals this summer through a USDA-funded program that it also sponsors. This program runs from June 6 to Aug. 5. Anyone under the age of 18, regardless of whether they live in Johnston or not, is eligible for a free meal. Adults who want to participate will have to pay $3.95 per meal.
Like in Clive, the meals must be eaten on site: there are no grab-and-go options.
There are two locations to choose from:
- Sterling Point at 7370 62nd Ave NW, which is open from 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
- Chapel Ridge at 6200 Clark Ln, which is open from 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m.
The Urbandale Community School District is also participating in the USDA Summer Food Service Program from June 6 to Aug. 5. Meals are free to kids ages 1 to 18 and they do not need to be enrolled at an Urbandale school.
- Karen Acres Elementary (3500 74th St. Urbandale, IA 50322)
- Monday through Friday (No meals on July 4)
- Breakfast: 9-9:15 a.m.
- Lunch: 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Waukee Community Schools' Nutrition Services Department will be providing free breakfast and lunch for everyone under the age of 18 from June 6 through Aug. 5, Monday through Friday.
Children will have to stay at the pick-up site in order to eat their meals. Waukee has multiple pick-up sites in Waukee proper and in West Des Moines.
- 75 SE Windfield Pkwy from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
- 1300 SE Jonas Circle, Waukee from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- West Des Moines
- 6137 Vista Drive, West Des Moines in the parking lot behind the building nearest 60th St. & Vista Dr., from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- 8602 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Waukee is also looking for volunteers for their Picnic and Play program. You can find their interest form here.