The Department of Education believes fueling keiki's minds begins with making sure they don't go hungry. 

"We're taking a truck out to different sites on the Waianae Coast to provide food to children 18 years and younger.  If we can't help provide these basic necessities then how can we expect them to excel in their academics," explained Dexter Kishida, Program Specialist with the DOE's School Food Services Branch.

It's a part of the Department of Education's 'Aina Pono Program.  The pilot project helping to make sure kids are fed this summer.

"We know that summertime it might be harder for kids to get food and have easy access to food unlike going to school, so we come out here to help ease that off. If the parents are at work, then they can come and get free food," said Audrey Shoji, a volunteer Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.    

Volunteers prepared 300 meals Wednesday morning at Waianae high school, before helping distribute the food at various locations.

"We'll be at four locations starting at 10:00 a.m. through about 1:00 p.m. We'll be near City Mill in Waianae Mall, we'll be at Pokai Bay near Kamaile Academy, and Makaha Beach," said Kishida. 

Waianae residents welcomed the mobile cafeteria with open arms. 

"This is awesome.  I mean, better than staying home and making lunch for the kids.  This is free so we might as well make use of the program," said Waianae resident, Travis Kahakai.

The DOE already serves free meals at 71 select schools across the state this summer, but this is the first time they're taking it on the road.

"The reality is we still service only about a third of the students that attend our schools. So, why not take it to the beach, to the communities that our children are in to reach out to them and make food even more accessible for them," said Kishida.

From Wednesday until July 19, excluding the fourth of July, the truck's open Monday through Friday, at the same locations. 

The Department of Education says it expects to serve up to 800 free meals per day.  

The DOe says it will assess the food truck's effectiveness and see if future partnerships in other communities could benefit more students.