Vermillion Summer Lunch Program gets national award

Positively KELOLAND

VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO)– One summer lunch program in KELOLAND is getting national recognition.

The Vermillion School District received The the Department of Ag’s “Turnip the Beet” award.

It’s a normal day at St. Agnes Catholic School as volunteers fill the lunch trays of kids.

But now, thanks to the federal Ag Department, it’s becoming a big summer for the Vermillion School District.

“I’m very happy that the program was nominated and got awarded this national honor,” food service director Rachelle Loutsch said.

“I was really, really proud of ourselves. We work really hard every year. We have great team members here. We all work together to pull our own weight,” Tracy Gilkyson with Lunchtime Solutions said.

The Vermillion School District is one of 118 in the nation, and the only summer lunch program in South Dakota to receive this award.

“It’s amazing. I’m really proud they went that far and got the award,” kitchen helper Megan Hessi said.

Volunteers say they try to serve meals the kids will want to eat.

“My theory is if I’m not going to eat it, I’m not going to serve it. So we try to make what the children will like and what they’re actually going to eat,” Hessi said.

The School District hopes this national recognition will allow the summer lunch program to serve even more kids in the area.

“I hope that it will keep our numbers up. I hope that we see more faces next year,” Gilkyson said.

The summer lunch program runs through August 9 at St. Agnes Catholic School in Vermillion.

Click here for the full lunch schedule.

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