SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – During the summer months, the Sioux Falls School District offers free meals to anyone under the age of 18. That program has now wrapped up.

On average, the district served about 2,200 meals per day during the summer food program, which was less than last year.

“Some of the reasoning is we were offering summer academy for students four days a week last year, where this year it was only three days a week so we knew those counts would be down,” child nutrition coordinator, Gay Anderson said.

Anderson says another reason she thinks numbers were lower is because meals had to be eaten on-site, rather than families being able to take them home like in the year before.

“We were hoping we could have served more because that’s what we are here for, we always want to help serve our kids,” Anderson said.

Out of the nine sites offering free meals, she says Hayward Elementary and Terry Redlin Elementary were some of the busiest.

“I think partly, we only had one west side open site for that purpose, and then on the east side we did some daycares coming in and visiting because they knew it was available to them, some families in the area could walk in easily,” Anderson said.

Now that the summer program has wrapped up, families are encouraged to sign up for free and reduced meals ahead of the school year.

“It will save you money out of your pocketbook, on average it’s going to be about $65 a month for lunch for a child and so parents need to be planning for that,” Anderson said.

Anderson says right now they’re working on preparing sites and getting in food orders. They are aware there may be supply chain issues.

To apply for free and reduced meals, we’ve provided a link here.