Hungry Hamilton City Schools students will have another option for nutritious meals as the district is about to unveil its first-ever food truck.
The food truck represents a new, mobile outreach to help feed its student population — of which 72 percent rely on reduced priced school meals — beyond the usual school day and during summer break.
The truck, which cost about $80,000 and was paid for by grants, will be officially unveiled later this month at a Hamilton Board of Education meeting and then will begin to travel to the city district’s various neighborhoods.
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During the upcoming school year, the truck will be positioned outside various Hamilton schools — and at different school events — so that students will have access to nutritious meals and snacks.
“We know that our students and our community has needs that go on 12 months out of the year,” said Larry Knapp, business manager for the 10,000-student district. “This is one way we can reach out to them.”
Knapp said the summer food services will be scheduled and announced as to where the truck will be and when, to feed Hamilton students for free during their summer break.
Food will also be free to students during the truck’s operation during the school year.
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“A schedule is being developed. Our goal is to have the food truck travelling through the district at least once a week to get students and family excited about this new venture,” Knapp said.
Hamilton is the latest Butler County school system to employ a mobile food service to feed students from low-income families.
Lakota Local Schools, which is the largest district in Butler County, is in its second summer of delivering lunches to needy students via two modified school buses that travel to nearly a dozen neighborhoods.
The Hamilton food truck, which is covered in a colorful, food-oriented mural designed by a Hamilton elementary student, will also be making appearances at city events. Fairwood Elementary student Louiya Anthony was awarded $500 for her design that was used to decorate the truck.
Knapp said the Hamilton vehicle, which can serve hot or cold meals including vegetables, fruit and frozen treats, will also be employed in individual school and school programs’ fund-raising events during the upcoming school year.
“Plans are also in the making for the food truck to also be working with the city of Hamilton at events such as Alive After 5,” he said.