Natalie Spruell serves lunch on July 27, 2011, at the Sycamore Community Center in Farmington as part of the Summer Food Service Program. The free meal
Natalie Spruell serves lunch on July 27, 2011, at the Sycamore Community Center in Farmington as part of the Summer Food Service Program. The free meal program returns this summer to area school districts. (The Daily Times file photo)

FARMINGTON — With summer vacation in full swing, area school districts are offering free meal programs to ensure students have access to healthy and nutritious food.

The Aztec, Bloomfield, Central Consolidated and Farmington school districts have started providing free summer meals to children ages 1 to 18 across San Juan County as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program.

The Farmington Municipal School District's summer feeding program started on June 2 at Rocinante High School, said Jaynelle Minor, the district's student nutrition supervisor.

Services are scheduled to start today at Animas, Apache, Esperanza, McCormick, McKinley, Mesa Verde and Northeast elementary schools and at Mesa View Middle School.

Minor said Bluffview Elementary and Hermosa Middle will not be summer feeding locations because of renovations and remodeling work being completed at the schools.

"We're trying to do what we can for people in the community and help those people that need help," Minor said.

Farmington locations will offer breakfast from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays until July 3. Rocinante will offer breakfast from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon on Mondays through Fridays and will run through June 27.

Children will also be able to take a fruit or vegetable home if they can't eat it at meal time, Minor said. That initiative is new this year.

The Central Consolidated School District is currently serving breakfast and lunch from Mondays through Fridays at Ojo Amarillo and Naschitti elementary schools, Kirtland and Tse' Bit Ai' middle schools and Shiprock and Newcomb high schools through Aug. 1.

Breakfast runs from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and lunch is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Several schools, including Kirtland, Grace B. Wilson, Ruth N. Bond, Eva. B. Stokely, Mesa, Nizhoni and Newcomb elementary schools, will start serving meals on July 1 and end on Aug. 7.

The locations that start serving meals on July 1 are set to offer breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

The Bloomfield School District will offer breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday at Central Primary Elementary with picnic-style lunches offered at the Bloomfield Multicultural Center and two Aztec locations — the Aztec Ruins National Monument and Minium Park. Bloomfield schools serves the two sites in Aztec with brown bag-style lunches with both programs running until Aug. 1.

Central Primary will serve breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Bloomfield Multicultural Center offers lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lunch at the Aztec Ruins will be served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and at Minium Park from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.