USDA RuralEdge and St. Johnsbury School District Expand Free Lunch Program in St. Johnsbury

Megan Roush
St. Johnsbury
Release Date
Jun 26, 2015
USDA Summer Food Program Fun in Vermont

School is out, and children have a new location in St. Johnsbury to find free lunch this summer. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), RuralEdge, and the St. Johnsbury School District have partnered to begin offering free lunch at Mountain View Apartments, a USDA-supported apartment complex in St. Johnsbury. USDA officials were at Mountain View Apartments Monday to help kick off the new service.

“Every hungry child across the State of Vermont should have access to a summer meal site,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady. “This year, USDA is working hard to bring summer meal sites closer to rural children and ensure they have access to healthy food throughout the summer.”

The new site at Mountain View Apartments is one of 176 USDA Summer Food Service Program sites across Vermont, where children up to the age of 18 can access a free meal regardless of income and with no registration.  The program helps provide nutritious meals to children who participate in the agency’s free and reduced-price lunch program during the school year. The program is administered locally by Hunger Free Vermont, which depends on local sponsors to use the program to deliver meals to children across the state.

The St. Johnsbury School District has partnered with USDA and RuralEdge, the owner of the Mountain View Apartments, to provide the meal service this summer. For a full list of summer meal sites, visit

Mountain View Apartments is one of 78 multi-family rental apartment complexes built and maintained with support from USDA Rural Development’s Multi-Family 515 Program across Vermont.  The program provides low-cost financing to build affordable multi-family projects in rural areas and provides rental assistance to low-income residents. More than 1,400 Vermont families live in USDA rental properties.

Mountain View Apartments is the first USDA multi-family apartment complex in Vermont to participate in the Summer Food Service Program.  Rural Edge opted to participate after USDA Rural Development staff encouraged managers from across the state to consider the benefits of offering the program at their sites.

USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $210 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit or call (603) 223-6035.