Ark City schools bus 3,000 lunches to kids on summer break

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Schools and nonprofits are working hard this summer to make sure kids don’t go hungry. Many say it is an effort that can be seen throughout the country, but one Kansas school district is going the extra mile by bringing the meals right into the local neighborhoods.

Calvary Church is one of the many locations in Ark City that you can see one of these lunch drop offs and dozens of kids show up for the occasion.

“White milk, chocolate milk or grape,” asked the lunch lady on the bus handing out meals.

This was an easy question for kids and also part of the solution to make sure youth don’t go hungry this summer. Charter Food Services has teamed up with Ark City Schools for the month of June to bus lunches to the kids throughout the city.

“We know that we have a need in Ark City for summer foods for the kids,” said Danny Walter with Charter Foods. “There’s a lot of kids that depend on the food or nutritional meals.”

Charter Foods tells us that in the last three days, this USDA funded program has served over 400 meals to children throughout multiple communities.

Everyday, one bus drives to seven different locations in the city, opening their doors to kids ages 1-18. These kids are then given bagged lunches and a drink.

Some of the kids hop on to grab their lunches then quickly walk home and others like to stay behind, to enjoy the fully equipped bus that’s been modified specifically for the program. This lunch bus has custom-made booth seats, AC and even WiFi and books for the kids to hop aboard and take advantage of.

“Last year, we really saw a need and had the opportunity to expand that and offer those meals across the community,” said Alisha Call with Charter Foods.

Last year the staff served more than 3,400 kids and they’re hoping to serve even more this year. For more information of the Ark City lunches visit USD 470’s website:

For those in Wichita looking for a free summer lunch program you can find that information here.

Charter Foods in Ark City will be providing these free lunches throughout the month of June and Wichita’s free lunch program will last until August 11th.