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FARMINGTON — School districts in San Juan County are increasing the number of sites offering free meals to feed local students this summer.

The districts provide free meals to people 18 years old and younger during the summer as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program.

In New Mexico, 29 percent of children 17 years old and younger lived in poverty in 2015, according to data from the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children.

For San Juan County, 23.5 percent of children 17 years old and younger were living in poverty in 2015.

The Aztec School District will serve lunch at four sites this year for the first time in recent history, according to district food service director Bob Schyver.

The district was urged by New Mexico Appleseed, a nonprofit group that is part of a nationwide network to address poverty, to pursue restarting its summer meal program in Aztec, Schyver said.

There are three meal sites in Aztec that the Bloomfield School District operated in previous years and will continue to operate this year.

Schyver hopes to see about 300 meals served per day through the program.

A barbecue grill will rotate between the sites each day to offer children a hot meal. Sack lunches will be served during the rest of the week.

A partnership between the city of Farmington and the Farmington Municipal School District helped the district add four new meal sites, thanks to a $25,000 grant to purchase two new food trailers.

Jaynelle Minor, the student nutrition supervisor for Farmington schools, said the city asked the school district to partner with it and apply for a National Recreation and Park Association Healthy Out-of-School Time Grant. She said the grant will help the district serve more hot breakfasts and lunches, along with dinner, at two sites for the first time.

The 11 public meal sites are an increase from the six sites Farmington schools operated last year.

Cory Styron, director of the city of Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, said the partnership is a great way for the city and school district to help address nutrition issues in the community.

The Central Consolidated School District summer meal program has added new meal sites at the chapter houses in Upper Fruitland, Becalabito, Naschitti and Sheep Springs this year, according to Margene Purcella, district food service coordinator.

The CCSD summer meal program served 59,635 lunches and 18,903 breakfast meals last summer. Purcella said.

She said an average of 1,570 children were served lunch, and 498 children were served breakfast each day between the district's 18 sites operated last year. 

The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is hosting a second annual Summer Food Kick Off event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Salmon Park at 301 N. 5th St. in Bloomfield.

Evelyn Barry, the Bloomfield food services director, said hamburgers and hot dogs will be served. About 125 meals were served at last year's inaugural event.

Bloomfield schools served 2,949 breakfasts and 19,720 lunches during last year's summer meal program.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

Summer meal program information

Aztec Municipal School District program
All meals served from 11 a.m. to noon weekdays from June 5 to July 31

• First Baptist Church

• Aztec High School

• Florence Park

• Cap Wells Park 

Bloomfield School District program
All meals served weekdays from May 30 to July 28, except July 3-4.

• Aztec Boys & Girls Clubs: Breakfast from 8 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m.

• Aztec Ruins National Monument: Breakfast from 6:45 to 7:15 a.m., lunch from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Bloomfield High School: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Central Primary: Breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Lee Acres: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Minium Park in Aztec: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Bloomfield Multicultural Center: Breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Huerfano Chapter House: Lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday July 5-26.

Central Consolidated School District
No meals served on July 3-4

• Mesa Mobile Home Park in Farmington: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 3.

• Kirtland Middle: Breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m., lunch 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 3.

• Judy Nelson Elementary in Kirtland: Breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 5-22.

• Kirtland Youth Association: Breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 3.

• Ojo Amarillo Elementary in Fruitland: Breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 5-Aug. 3.

• Upper Fruitland Chapter House: Breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 3.

• Beclabito Chapter House: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5-July 28.

• Mesa Elementary in Shiprock: Breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 10:45 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday June 5-22.

• Career Prep High School: Breakfast from 7 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 6-22.

• Tse' Bit' Ai Middle in Shiprock: Breakfast from 7 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 3.

• Naschitti Chapter House: Lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 9, 16 and 23. From June 26-July 28, meals are served weekdays.

• Naschitti Elementary: Breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 5-22.

• Newcomb Elementary: Breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays from June 5-Aug. 3.

• Newcomb High School: Breakfast from 7 to 8:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 5-22.

• Sanostee Chapter House: Lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays June 5-July 28.

• Sheep Springs Chapter House: Breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. weekdays June 5-July 28.

Farmington Municipal School District
No meals served July 3-4.

• Animas Elementary: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m weekdays June 12-Aug. 4.

• Northeast Elementary: Breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 4.

• Rocinante High School: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5June 30.

• Farmington Aquatic Center: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays June 12-Aug. 4.

• Berg Park: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays June 12-Aug. 4.

• Farmington Boys & Girls Clubs: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 11.

• Brookhaven Park: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 4.

• Brookside Park: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., dinner from 3:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays June 12-Aug. 4.

• Highland View Park: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays June 12-Aug. 4.

• Kiwanis Park: Dinner from 5:30 to 7 p.m. weekdays June 12 to Aug. 4.

• Sycamore Park: Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11:30 to 1 p.m. weekdays June 5-Aug. 4.

Shiprock Associated Schools Inc.
Meals served weekdays from June 12-July 7.

• SASI cafeteria behind Navajo Community College: Breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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