Mobile cafe's school lunch program continues to grow in Harrisonburg

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -– Harrisonburg City Public Schools is using its mobile cafe for the third year in a row. The bus feeds students lunches throughout the summer.

The mobile cafe is feeding around 250 kids each day throughout the summer of 2019. Photo: WHSV

Andrea Early, the director of school nutrition, said that the program has continued to grow each year. In 2019, the mobile cafe feeds 250 children per day, five days a week. It serves students in the city's school district up to eighteen years old and adults can purchase a meal for two dollars.

"It's really exciting to have that many kids coming out enjoying lunch together and having fun with their friends," said Early.

In Harrisonburg, over 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. The mobile cafe helps bridge the nutritional gap when those students are home for the summer and over winter break too.

The mobile cafe stops in eight different neighborhoods for eight weeks throughout the summer. On top of lunches, volunteers teach different lessons to the children ranging from STEM activities to agriculture and even dancing.

"I think that they really enjoy being able to enjoy lunch with friends, hang out, do some fun activities, it just has been a really positive experience for all of us," said Early.

Parents or children can text the word "food" or "comida" to 877-877 to find out the mobile cafe location that is closest to them. The cafe will continue until August 9, 2019. You can also find a full list of dates and times for summer meals here.

You can also find additional information on your closest summer feeding sites by calling the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3HUNGRY or visiting www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.