EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer Schools will be seeing a major federal program end this summer for the Nutrition Department as many changes are beginning to show in the department. Not all will be in the federal space though as Seamless Summer will be kicking off on June 6 and lasting until July 22.
In addition to the news of the school nutrition department not getting a bid renewal from US Foods, current indications from the Federal Government have the school system preparing to also not continue the COVID outbreak response that allowed free lunches for all. Instead, it was stated this week that Gilmer Schools will likely return to the standard National School Lunch Program and Provision 2 for Breakfast.
This means that those applying for free and reduced lunches will need to refill those forms out for next year. The school system encouraged all parents to fill out those forms during the free meals for all as the state was still keeping track of them. Continuing in the same efforts, the Nutrition Department is returning to the same message as last year, encouraging all parents to fill out the free/reduced lunch forms. This year, they will be processed and return to normal operation of the program unless something changes over the summer.
Schools are also preparing for the summer itself as a new location has been added to the Seamless Summer Program. With eight total locations this year, Seamless Summer sites include Gilmer High School, Tower Road, the Boys and Girls Club, the Gilmer County Health Department, Ellijay’s First United Methodist Church, Mulberry Apartments, Sunlight Baptist Church, and the Bobcat Café Mobile Site will run on Dalton Street. All sites will run lunch around noon with the specific site’s times listed in the photo to the right.
In addition to the Seamless Summer, the school system is adding a Summer STEM Camp Monday June 27 through Thursday June 30, 2022, at Ellijay Elementary School. The Stem Camp will also be running at each Seamless Summer Programs at different times throughout the program, but the June 27 Ellijay Elementary School location is open to all students between Kindergarten and 5th Grade. It will also operate longer as it goes daily from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The school nutrition department could be seeing more changes in operations as they continue handling challenges with food distributors, but nothing was said about canceling the summer programs due to food. Instead, Director Partin encouraged students to visit the locations and said that these locations were strategically located, including the additional location, to maximize access for students in the county.