School has been out for weeks, but there is no rest for the 6 workers at Caldwell Arts Academy.
"We stay pretty busy," said kitchen manager Deborah Gorbett. "We have to load the truck by 10 o'clock each morning ya know have everything ready to ship out. We're on a time frame, my employees come in at 7. We get it done."
Five days a week they prepare 500 sack lunches as part of Tyler's Summer Lunch Program. Each sack contains a sandwich, a vegetable, and an orange or apple. The city wants to make sure it provides children with the nutrition of a school lunch during the summer months.
For the past 2 weeks the lunchtime crowd hasn't gathered in the school's cafeteria but at one of thirteen locations where the lunches are delivered. One of the busiest is Oak Grove Park. Between 100 and 150 kids are served there.
"They serve the sandwich tuna, I like it," says lunch participant Christian Flores.
The lunches and recreational activities are offered to neighborhood kids. Staff members also provide free supervised care to children with working parents.
"It's a very big help," said Playground Leader Davie Townsend. "Most parents have to work they don't have the luxury of having a day care, so that's where we come to play in, and I think their very appreciative of it."
"We come out here everyday because actually our parents work," said participant Ines Cruz. "Out here we have something to do instead of just being in the house and watching tv."
The kids get a healthy meal and the chance to chase away the summber blues. For them its all fun and games, but for the city making sure every child has a lunch this summer, is serious business.
Lunches are distributed from 11 a.m. to noon at:
City Park, 200 W. Queen
Fun Forest Park, 2000 Forest Ave.
Glass Recreation Center, 509 W. 32nd Street
Lincoln Park, 1710 Confederate
Oak Grove Park 1525 N. Carlyle Ave.
Orr Elementary School. 3001 Orr Drive
P.T. Cole Park, 1001 S. Vine
St. James CME, 408 N. Border
St. Paul UMC, 215 S. Clayton
Texas College, 2402 n. Grand Ave.
Tyler Square Apartments, 1007 NNW Loop 323
Tyler YMCA, 225 S. Vine Ave.
Winters Park, 910 S. Peach.
Story by Maya Golden, email@example.com