HOBART | Bobby Goodpaster, 9, eagerly munched on his peanut butter and jelly sandwich while his mother, Becky Goodpaster, chatted.
"He loves the Uncrustables sandwiches. ... Usually we'd be going to the pool then eating lunch, but today we have to go to a doctor's appointment," Goodpaster said.
The Goodpasters were among those on a recent Friday taking advantage of the free lunches distributed to children 18 and younger through the School City of Hobart at several sites.
The Hobart Community Pool site, off Wisconsin Street, was popular. Twenty-six meals were served to youngsters who lined up to the food truck then walked to nearby picnic tables or blankets to eat their wrapped lunches.
"This is our biggest turnout today," food services employee Mimi Anderson said.
The selection included the sandwich, grape tomatoes and cucumbers with a dip and milk.
Brownie Scout leader Tricia Fisk, who sat on a picnic table shaded by trees, said she and other moms brought 12 girls to take advantage of the program.
"This is a perfect spot for them to eat lunch then they can go and swim. ... It's a great program; I just wish more people would take advantage of it," Fisk said.
Nancy Smith, director of food services for the School City of Hobart, said this is the fourth year for the free lunch program, which is partnered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This is the first year the school has operated its mobile routes.
"That came about because we wanted to reach children who needed the services the most," Smith said.
Use of the program, which continues through Friday, has increased to 350 from 250 recorded last year.
"My goal is 500," Smith said.
For more information, call Smith at (219) 947-2413, ext. 8955.