BATON ROUGE, LA. (BRPROUD) – Using their cooking skills to help fill a void in the community, IDEA Public Schools are on a mission to not only provide free meals but food for the soul. 

“I was thinking of a mission statement. I was like, ‘what can I think of?’ So I came up Food for the Soul. We want to feed their soul as well as their mind,” said Louisiana Regional Manager of IDEA Public Schools, Henrietta Cromwell. 

Food for the Soul is a slogan for their summer food program that will offer free nutritious breakfast and lunch meals for the local community. 

“Any child under the age of 18 have the opportunity to come in,” said cafeteria manager at IDEA Bridge, Lester Jones.  

Are there any requirements to take part in this program? Jones said all you have to do is show up. “No paperwork is needed. No id’s needed. Only thing they have to do is show up,” he said. 

Cromwell said food summer programs are important in the community, and recalls using one as a child.  

“Myself, personally, growing up, you know, we didn’t have nothing in our house at all. So we went to the next school to get the meals for breakfast and lunch, you know, because my parents wasn’t home, so to me, I am very passionate about that as well, that we want to be the community, she said. 

Jones said the food program means a lot to the kitchen staff, especially knowing some parents are working to recover financially. 

“We enjoy having an opportunity or should I say a privilege of being able to provide for those parents who are busy working, those parents who are trying to get back to where they used to be before this pandemic started,” said Jones. 

For those who are interested, you can take advantage of the food program at any of the IDEA Public School locations in Baton Rouge from May 30 to July 21st. 

Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food service will be closed on federal holidays and from July 3 to July 7. 

Click here to find the closest IDEA Public School campus.