EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Jameson Kopsi, (left) Ryan Stubbs (center) and Jack Cotton get some after school nourishment provided by Chartwells Food Service during the Eat Well After the Bell program Thursday at Marinette High School.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Jameson Kopsi, (left) Ryan Stubbs (center) and Jack Cotton get some after school nourishment provided by Chartwells Food Service during the Eat Well After the Bell program Thursday at Marinette High School.

MARINETTE — Last week, the Marinette School District started a new after school food program open to all of their students called Eat Well After the Bell.

Superintendent Wendy Dzurick said that after the final bell every day from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m., all students will be able to receive a free meal. She said this program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, so no money is coming out of district funds for the program.

The program started last Tuesday, and after school let out that day, the school served 52 free meals. Jason Carrier, the district manager for Chartwells, the company that supplies the food for the Marinette School District, said the program is offered to certain districts based on the amount of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. He said if a district has 50% or more of its student population that applies, the district applied for the after-school program. Dzurick said because Garfield Elementary has between 49 and 51% of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, the whole district qualifies for the program and all students can participate.

However, there are some other stipulations. Carrier said the school that serves the meals has to have extracurriculars happening on the campus. Because Garfield is close enough to Marinette High School, Dzurick said they were able to serve the meals at the high school. Food Service Director Amy Mailand said the meals are portable, but two thirds of it has to be eaten on school property. She said some items, such as fruit and drinks and other smaller things, can be taken off school grounds with the students, however most of the meal has to be eaten at school.

She also said the meals are designed to be portable, so a student can grab their meal and eat it in just about anywhere on school property. This way, Dzurick said the students are able to have a nutritious meal before their extracurriculars start and they won’t end up missing or being late to their after-school activities.

Dzurick said from a district perspective, having this program fits in perfectly with the district’s mission. She said the schools have a lot of background services already, including free and reduced lunch and summer learning programs, and now adding Eat Well After the Bell is one more that helps students and families in the district.

She said the menus for Eat Well After the Bell are available on the Marinette School District’s website. She said they will also be available to view on nutrislice.com, as well as in the Nutrislice app. Dzurick said any further questions may be directed to Mailand.