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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Free lunch program growing as the word spreads

  • Michele Hughes, head cook for the summer lunch program at West Side Elementary School loves her job. She is head cook for Harrisburg High School during the school year.
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  • Michele Hughes, head cook for the summer lunch program at West Side Elementary School loves her job. She is head cook for Harrisburg High School during the school year.
    "I love it. This is my passion," she said Tuesday.
    By noon she had fed 80 children and 11 adults.
    "Word is getting around out there," she said.
    Serving time is 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The adults pay $3 per meal and children under the age of 19 eat for free. The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and the state. The one requirement is that the food be eaten on the premises where it is served. No carryouts are allowed. On July 3 there will be a cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers. The program will be closed for Independence Day, July 4.
    "The menu is very similar to what I serve at the high school," said Hughes.
    “Today we had ravioli, chicken, cheeseburgers, corn dogs, sub sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, and chef salads.
    There was milk and water, fresh fruit, apples, oranges, bananas and cantelope.
    "The state pushes fresh fruit and vegetables.”
    Jason Smock, 16, was eating lunch with two of his friends. He said, "The food is good. It's helping a lot of people out."
    "My goal is to feed 300 people in a single day this summer," Hughes said.
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