Middie Meal Machine food truck hits the road soon to battle hunger in Middletown

In 2016 Lakota Schools was the first district to mobilize its summer, free lunch program using converted school buses to deliver food to low-income school families at various locations around the district. Middletown Schools soon followed with their own "Middie Meal Machine" food truck. The free meal program in Middletown is expected to be even busier this summer as school families are impacted by rising food prices brought on by cost inflation. (Contributed Photo\Journal-News)

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In 2016 Lakota Schools was the first district to mobilize its summer, free lunch program using converted school buses to deliver food to low-income school families at various locations around the district. Middletown Schools soon followed with their own "Middie Meal Machine" food truck. The free meal program in Middletown is expected to be even busier this summer as school families are impacted by rising food prices brought on by cost inflation. (Contributed Photo\Journal-News)

The upcoming summer school break doesn’t mean a respite from hunger for many lower income Middletown school families and their children.

Driving area summer break food programs is the reality that most larger school systems in the county have sizable portions of their students coming from families poor enough to qualify for federally subsidized free and reduced meals during the school year.

And that is during even the best of economic times, which these days is certainly not the case when it comes to rising prices for food.

In 2016 Lakota Schools was the first district to mobilize its summer, free lunch program using converted school buses to deliver food to low-income school families at various locations around the district.

They were soon followed by Hamilton and Middletown Schools, each with their own version of specialized food trucks.

Few vehicles though are as colorful as Middletown’s “Middie Meal Machine,” which will be even busier this summer as school families are impacted by rising food prices brought on by cost inflation.

ExploreVIDEO & STORY: Middletown’s ‘Middie Meal Machine’ in demand for school year after first summer serving lunches

All of Middletown’s 6,300 school families have income levels making them eligible for federally subsidized free and reduced cost school meals during the school year.

“With the high food and gas costs, it’s even more important this summer that Middletown school district figures out a way to get meals into the hands of our students,” said city schools Spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle.

“When you’re a 100% free and reduced lunch/breakfast district, you worry about your students when they’re not in the buildings. The Middie Meal Machine Food Truck and other community entities have made the important investment to find ways to get food to our families,” said Beadle.

“The food truck is an easy way for the schools to get into the neighborhoods and ensure children are receiving healthy meals. Reliable transportation, not to mention the rising cost of gas, is an issue for many of our families, so the Middie Meal Machine helps in removing that barrier.”

Last summer the Middletown Schools’ food truck served 10,651 meals.

“We are hoping to serve more meals this summer,” said Beadle.

The Middletown food truck will be operating at various school locations starting providing free meals and a drink for all children starting June 6 each week day from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For a schedule and more information see Middletown Schools’ website at middletowncityschools.com.

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