By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Hot, fresh and nutritious meals are being served to children in the community as part of the Seamless Summer Program through the Portales Municipal Schools.
According to Shirley Chatterton, director of food services for the schools, the program was created five years ago through the Public Education Department.
For the second summer, Portales resident Bertha Villanueva has brought her grandniece and grandnephews to the summer lunch program. The children, who range in age from 6 months to 5 years, enjoy the chance to get out of the house and do something that they like, she said.
“It’s healthy food for them and they enjoy it,” Villanueva said.
Pete Stone, 11, and Mario Dominguez, 12, said they like the food and the chance to visit with their friends.
The meals are served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily in the cafeterias of Lindsey and Valencia elementary schools and Portales Junior High. Each day a hot meal, such as hamburgers, pizza or Frito pie, will be served. About 50 percent of the meals are homemade by the cafeteria workers, Lindsey kitchen manager Elisha Montoya said.
The program is free to children under 18 and for adults the cost is $2.50 per meal. There are no eligibility requirements, Chatterton said.
“It’s just available for everybody. It’s important for our students to continue eating properly throughout the summer,” Chatterton said.