PAYETTE — The Payette School District will be returning to Central Park this summer with its free summer foods program, offered in conjunction with the Payette Public Library, following approval of a special events permit by the Payette City Council during its regular meeting on Monday.

Present at this meeting to discuss the permit request was Payette School District board clerk Barbara Choate. 

“With the COVID restrictions lifted, we are once again able to feed our children and would like to do that in Central Park again,” said Choate. “Our interim food services director has worked with Clay [Ritter, library director] and the library program to make sure that lots of kids will be there on the days we are serving lunch. He was very excited to have the program back.”

Choate assured the council the program would not be halted mid-way through the summer, as was the case a few summers ago. She did not mention which summer that was.

Councilor Kathy Patrick expressed concerns about increased litter associated with the last time the district offered this program.

“I live across the street from there and there’s been a big problem with garbage,” said Patrick. “The people who are doing the actual feeding clean it all up, but you don’t have enough garbage cans.”

Choate noted, however, that the district is seeking to deploy additional trash cans at Central Park to accommodate the meal program. The permit application includes a request for the additional bins, as indicated in the agenda packet for this meeting, which can be read at on pages 31 and 32.

Councilor Mike Kee motioned to approve the permit for the meals program, seconded by Councilor Daniel Lopez. The voice vote to approve was 6-0.

Meals will be available at Central Park Monday through Thursday starting this Thursday and continue through July 22. Lunch will be available from 12:20-12:50 p.m. and is available to children ages 1 through 18, according to food service director Sandarah Cornwell.

The district will also serve breakfast and lunch at several school sites:

• Payette Primary School started offering summer meals on Monday and will continue through July 29. Breakfast served from 8:15-8:40 am, lunch from 11:45 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

• McCain Middle School will offer meals starting July 6 through July 29. Its breakfast times will be 8:15-8:40 am, lunch will be 11:45 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

• Payette High School started its summer meal program Monday and will continue through July 15. Breakfast is served from 8-8:25 a.m. and lunch from noon to 12:20 p.m.

For more information, call the Payette School District at (208) 642-9366.

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