Retrofitted school bus serves lunch to Florida students

Manatee County School District's summer feeding bus provides meals for nearly 200 children each day.

PALMETTO, Fla.—As soon as the brightly colored school bus turned into Lincoln Park's parking lot, children emerged from all corners of the park, shouting and running toward the bus as it slowly maneuvered to a shady corner.

This bus doesn't mean the return to the daily routine of the school year. This bus means food.

Since June, the Manatee County School District has been piloting a new summer program: a "mobile feeding unit" that stops in three locations, offering all Manatee County youths a free lunch. The program has been a great success, children and officials said Monday.

Nine-year-old Prospero Arredondo plays football at Lincoln Park almost every day. And that means he gets his lunch every day without having to leave the park and go home. His favorite meal from the bus?

"The corn dog," he said, as he waited his turn to board the bus and have his lunch.

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