TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With spring break fast approaching for Marana Unified School District (MUSD) students, a free food program will soon be rolling down the streets.
District officials say it’s important to provide access to nutritious meals, especially to families who rely on the school lunch program year round.
That’s why, in 2015, MUSD turned a retired school bus into a brightly-colored lunch program on wheels. The Marana Cares Mobile unit provides free meals inside an air conditioned, heated, handicap-accessible refurbished bus that also offers WiFi and educational opportunities for students. It hits the streets during each fall, winter, spring and summer breaks.
“Marana Cares Mobile allows us to give more back to our community by doing what is the very best for children,” said MUSD Superintendent Doug Wilson. “Nutrition is critical to a child’s ability to learn and be successful. This service allows us to meet those needs during times when students are not at school, so they are better prepared to return to school ready to learn.”
“This program is available for all children, of all ages from any area [including those outside Marana], and we also provide parents a reduced price,” said Tamara Crawley, the director of public relations for MUSD. “The district works hard to provide a variety of programs to meet students and family’s needs when they are away from school. This program is near and dear to the district, we see the smiles on children’s faces and appreciate the positive responses from our community members.”
The program is one of a few offered in Arizona. It’s funded by community donations and a federal grant program. So far, the Marana Cares Mobile has served 10,343 meals and officials expect to serve hundreds more during the 2020 spring break.
Starting Monday, March 16, the Marana Cares Mobile will be at Sandario Road and Anthony Road, near the Marana Congregation of Jehovah’s Witness Church, between 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. It will then move to 6560 W. El Tiro Road, at the Marana Domestic Water Improvement District, where it will offer meals between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the Marana Cares Mobile’s Facebook page.