From the May Newsletter: Lunch Lizard expanding to more sites than ever this summer!

Grand Junction, CO – The Lunch Lizard mobile food service truck is coming back this summer to deliver nutritious meals free of charge to any child 18 or younger.

The Lunch Lizard is an innovative solution to help children overcome the most common barrier to reaching summer meal service at schools – access to transportation. Instead of asking students to come to our buildings, the Lunch Lizard comes to them.

The Lunch Lizard stops in neighborhoods with a high population of students who receive free meals during the school year through the federally-funded National School Lunch Program. Another federal offering, the Summer Food Service Program, reimburses the district for meals served from the Lunch Lizard based on free and reduced meal percentages in those areas, making it possible for the district to offer the meals at no charge to kids.

The Lunch Lizard program’s expansion this year from 10 stops to 17 ensures all areas within District 51 where free and reduced meal recipient percentages exceed 75 percent per school are covered. With two Lunch Lizard food trucks and a van in its fleet, the Lunch Lizard program hopes to serve 500 children per day this summer.

In addition to making more stops in central and eastern parts of the valley, the Lunch Lizard program will introduce a Palisade route this summer. The new route will include stops at Palisade Mobile Homes, the Community Pool, and Veterans’ Memorial Park.

This is the third summer the Lunch Lizard summer meal program has delivered fresh, nutritious lunches to students across the Grand Valley. The program began in 2015 with one food truck visiting five neighborhoods four days a week for six weeks.

Following the success of the Lunch Lizard’s debut year, the program grew to include two routes in 2016. One was handled by the original Lunch Lizard, while a van covered in Lunch Lizard decals serviced the second route.

This year, three vehicles will make 17 stops five days a week for 10 weeks, ending service Aug. 4, 2017. D51 will also serve meals at Chipeta Elementary.

The Lunch Lizard is made possible through support from the Western Colorado Community Foundation, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, GJ Lions, Alpine Bank, Share our Strength/No Kid Hungry, Colorado Mesa University Business Honors students, and the students of Independence Academy.

2017 Lunch Lizard Routes

All routes have service Monday through Friday, except for the Palisade route, which runs Monday through Thursday.

All routes run May 30-Aug. 4, except for the Palisade route, which runs May 30-Aug. 3.

No service July 3-5 on all routes.

Grand Junction/Orchard Mesa Route

Riverside Park 675 W. Colorado Ave. Playground 10:45 – 11:05
Monument Ridge Apts. 265 Linden Ave. 11:15 – 11:30
Linden Pointe Apts. 1975 Barcelona Way 11:35 – 11:50
Eagle Rim Park 2746 Cheyenne Dr. Noon – 12:25
Village Park Apts. 615 28 ¼ Road 12:55 – 1:15
Garden Village Apts. 2601 Belford Ave. 1:25 – 1:40
Lincoln Park 1340 Gunnison Ave. 1:45 – 2:15

 

Clifton Route

Rocket Park 1827 N. 26th St. 10:45 – 11:00
Columbine Park 544 28 ¼ Road 11:05 – 11:15
Applewood Estates 510 31 ½ Road Playground by office 11:30 – 11:45
Clifton Elementary 3276 F Road Gazebo Noon – 12:15
Mesa Ave. Park 3216 Mesa Ave. 12:25 – 12:50
Kimwood Park 3240 White Ave. 1:00 – 1:15
Candlewood 424 32 Road, #279 Community Center 1:25 – 1:45

 

Palisade Route

Palisade Mobile Homes 131 N. Bower Ave. by basketball hoops 11:45 – Noon
Veteran’s Memorial Park 120 W. Eighth St. skate park 12:05 – 12:20
Community Pool 571 W. Fifth St. 12:30 – 1:05

 

Standalone School Site

Chipeta Elementary 950 Chipeta Ave. 11 – 12:15