Lunch Lizard mobile summer meal program hits the road May 30

Mesa County, CO – The school year may be over, but school lunches will continue to be served May 30 through August 4, 2017, thanks to the Lunch Lizard mobile food service program. See the schedule here.

School District 51 announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program and will provide meals for all children 18 or younger in the community. Meals will be provided to all children at no charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination during the course of the meal service.

The Lunch Lizard will serve 17 stops this summer, up from 10 last year. Two routes – one in Clifton/Fruitvale and another in Grand Junction/Orchard Mesa – will visit seven sites apiece every weekday. A new, third route in Palisade will serve three stops each Monday through Thursday until Aug. 3, 2017. The Lunch Lizard fleet is growing from one food truck and a van to two food trucks and a van in order to serve all three routes at the same time.

The Lunch Lizard stops in neighborhoods with a high concentration 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. The program is expanding this year in order to cover all areas within District 51 where free and reduced meal recipient percentages exceed 75 percent.

The Lunch Lizard program launched in the summer of 2015 as an innovative solution to helping children overcome the most common barrier to obtaining summer meals from schools – access to transportation. Instead of asking students to come to our buildings, the Lunch Lizard comes to them. Still, one stationary site – at Chipeta Elementary, 950 Chipeta Ave. – will remain open for lunch service from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. five days a week May 30-Aug. 4. This site and all Lunch Lizard sites will not have service July 3-5.

The Lunch Lizard is made possible thanks to 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.

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, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, 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: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.