Appoquinimink Free Summer Meal Program for Children - Town of Middletown, Delaware

Appoquinimink Free Summer Meal Program for Children

Date: June 21, 2019

    Appoquinimink is launching a FREE Summer Meals Program for Children

    • Beginning June 17
    • 11:30 am until 1:30 pm, Monday-Thursday
    • Any child or young person age 1 through 18
      • Note: USDA guidelines prevent us from offering free meals to adults, however, those over age 18 may purchase a complete lunch for $2.00 when accompanied by a child.
    • The Summer Meal Program was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that children in low-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, the Appoquinimink School District has been qualified to offer a program for the first time. Beginning June 17, a walk-in cafe will operate Monday-Thursday from 11:30-1:30 daily, at Louis L. Redding Middle School (located at 201 New Street in Middletown). From this central location, the District hopes to provide hundreds of free lunches to children and teens in need, and is working to identify community-based partners who are eligible for approval as satellite sites. 

    Who’s eligible for a free meal

    Any child or teen, from age 1 through 18, is eligible to join us for a nutritious lunch at Redding Middle School. There is no application or registration required. School affiliation is not a consideration.


    • Start Date: Monday, June 17, 2019
    • End Date: Thursday, August 15, 2019
    • Hours: 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

    What's on the menu

    A different entree will be featured each day (popular menu items like burgers, tacos, chicken, pizza...) plus an assortment of fruits, vegetables and milks. At the end of each week, a new menu will be posted at the front entrance to the school and we'll have copies available for children to take home or access from our websites and Facebook page.

    Guidelines for participation

    The USDA has 3 simple requests.

    • All meals should be consumed onsite.
    • If a child cannot finish the entire meal at one sitting, s/he is allowed to take only one (1) non-perishable food item out of the building. 
      • For example: an apple, packaged crackers...
    • This is a federally-funded program for children. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to serve adults.

    “We know that for many of our children, lunch could offer the only substantial meal they have for the day,” explained School Nutrition Supervisor Janice VanderDecker, whose department will oversee the program. "The determination (by DDOE) reflects a growing need to ensure kids in our District have access to nutritious food where they live, learn and play when school is not in session," she concluded.

    “Redding Middle is a wonderful choice for the Summer Meal Program," noted Susan Pascoe, who'll serve as the program's on-site manager this year. "It's a bright, welcoming space that's safe and secure. Families already know and trust us, and that's important. Our biggest challenge is getting the word out, because we're a new program." 

    The Bookmobile will double children's fun!

    The District is adding pre-lunch activities to encourage more engagement. The Appoquinimink Bookmobile, "Words On Wheels," will be stopping at Redding Middle School on four separate dates: June 18 and 20; August 6 and 13, from 11:20-11:50 a.m., so students can get lunch and check out books to read at the same time.

    Our goal is to make sure Redding is a true summer gathering place with a holistic - mind and body - approach to children. Each child who stops by the Bookmobile will receive two free books, a treat and a chance to win a computer tablet raffled off at the end of the summer.

    Explains Bookmobile Coordinator/School Librarian Jodie Klein, "I always tell my kids that reading is exercise for your brain," she said. "It's something that keeps your minds going. There's tons of research out there that shows that children lose some of the information they gained during the school year if they don't keep their brains engaged during the summer."


    The Summer Meals Program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered in Delaware by the Department of Education. Non-profit organizations may sponsor the program and receive reimbursement for qualifying meals served to eligible children.

    For more information about Appoquinimink's Summer Meal Program

    For information about Summer Food Service Programs in operation across the First State

    • Call 211
    • Text the words "summer meals" to 97779
    • Text the word "food" to 877-877 or "comida" to 877-877 (for Spanish speakers)
    • Call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish speakers)
    • Log onto

    USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) mail: 
    U.S. Department of Agriculture 
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

    (2) fax:
    (202) 690-7442; or 

    (3)  email:

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


    Mission: The mission of the Appoquinimink School District is to provide a world-class education where each of our students gains the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes needed to contribute and flourish in a global society.