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Gundersen Health System staffers had expected to feed about 35 free meals a day to children 18 and younger at four sites this summer under a U.S. Department of Agriculture program but ended up serving more than 60 a day.

The Summer Food Service Program meals were available in Gundersen’s cafeteria and in The Bistro, as well as Poage and Powell parks near Gundersen’s La Crosse campus.

“This was our first year participating in the Summer Food Service Program,” said Jennifer Larson, administrative director for Gundersen Nutrition and Hospitality Services. “This higher-than-anticipated total speaks to the need for good nutritional food programs like this in our area.”

Marge Ley, a pediatric dietician at Gundersen, said,

“Many pediatric patients are here for multiple clinic appointments and often with siblings. Parents were so thankful to be able to receive these healthy and great-tasting meals for their children, as many families come unprepared to purchase meals.”

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Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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