Anyone age 18 and younger can participate in the Meet Up and Eat Up program throughout the summer. Local meals will be served at Grand Haven’s Central Park, Lake Hills Elementary School, River Haven Village, Robinson Elementary School and The Salvation Army in Grand Haven.
The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Amy Sheele, a health educator for the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.
“It’s a way to make sure kids are getting good nutritious meals throughout the year,” she said.
The meals are administered through Grand Haven Area Public School’s food service department, and Ottawa Food helps facilitate the program by connecting the community and meals, Sheele said.
Meet Up and Eat Up served a total of 10,602 meals in Grand Haven last summer.
While the program is open to the public, students in the Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority’s Recreation Summer School also participate in it.
NORA Coordinator Jill Vander Stel said they collaborate with the local United Way, The Salvation Army and Grand Haven Area Public Schools. By collaborating, she said they get students physically active and Meet Up and Eat Up helps provide the kids with nutrition.
Sheele said Meet Up and Eat Up is also a way for children to get outside and see their classmates during the summer months.
Some of the locations also offer activities in addition to the meals. With the Central Park location near Loutit District Library, Sheele said it’s also an opportunity to arrange library trips.
“For us, the program is important because it ensures kids have nutritious and balanced meals throughout the summer and the engagement of getting outside and having fun with their friends,” she said.
Here are the times, dates and locations of the local Meet Up and Eat Up sites:
Grand Haven Central Park
Mondays and Wednesdays, June 11 to Aug. 8 (closed July 4): 12-12:30 p.m.
Rain location: Central High School
Lake Hills Elementary School
Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 12 to Aug. 10: 12-12:30 p.m.
River Haven Village
Under the pavilion, Monday through Friday, June 11 to Aug. 10 (closed July 4): 12-12:30 p.m. lunch, 12-1 p.m. activities
Robinson Elementary School
Monday through Friday, June 25 to Aug. 6 (closed July 4): breakfast, 9:10-9:40 a.m.; lunch, 12-12:30 p.m.; dinner, 4:30-5 p.m.
The Salvation Army in Grand Haven
Monday through Friday, June 11 to Aug. 10 (closed July 4): 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.