OPS Summer Feeding serves over 50,000 meals a summer at 32 sites.

The United States Department of Agriculture recently recognized Owensboro Public Schools with its silver Turnip the Beet award for OPS’ Summer Feeding Program.

This is the inaugural year for the Turnip the Beet award. According to the USDA website, the awards recognize Summer Meal Program sponsors who work hard to offer high-quality meals that are appetizing, appealing and nutritious. Summer sites have the opportunity to positively impact children’s healthy development offering nutritious meals and encouraging children to develop health habits at a young age.

“When you receive national recognition for your work to improve the lives of your students, it’s an absolute honor,” said Kaitlyn Blankendaal, OPS food service supervisor.

“Our staff works tirelessly in the summer heat to provide basic needs for kids,” said Lisa McCarty, chief operating officer.

Forty-nine sponsors from across the country earned awards. Two Kentucky programs including OPS were selected for the honor.

“Our new summer feeding mobile was a huge hit in its first summer. It allowed us to adjust some of our feeding sites to where the kids were around mealtimes. Anytime you can take the food to the kids and make it easier for them to get a nutritious meal, it’s a huge benefit for them,” said Deanna Sanders, food service administrative assistant.

OPS Summer Feeding serves over 50,000 meals a summer at 32 sites.