Low-income children who depend on free lunch and breakfast at school can be at risk of hunger during the summer break when school meals are not available. About 28,000 students, or 44 percent of students in Washoe County School District, qualify for free lunch at school. Many don’t know where to turn for a good meal in the summer.
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada joins forces with several community partners to provide free, nutritious meals for children age 18 and younger through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program. Last summer, about 2,100 children participated in Washoe County. Far more children are eligible and live within walking distance of the 28 local meal sites. With high unemployment and the slow economy, officials expect to see increased participation at all meal sites this summer.
A group of organizations committed to children’s health sponsors summer meals for kids all over Reno, Sparks, Lemmon Valley, Sun Valley and Stead. This summer, meal sites will be sponsored by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, the city of Reno and the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, in partnership with parks & recreation agencies of Sparks and Washoe counties, the Sun Valley General Improvement District, Reno Housing Authority and a handful of private apartment complexes.
This summer, meals are served weekdays from June 11 through Aug. 17 (dates and times vary by site.) Meals are available at several schools where there are community-sponsored summer activity programs for children. Also, many neighborhood parks are meal sites. Most sites offer lunch, and some serve breakfast.
Summer meal programs satisfy local health department rules for safe food handling and service. All meals must be eaten at the serving site, and any children 18 and younger can eat at any site free of charge. There are no enrollment requirements. Adults are not eligible for SFSP meals.
For more information, call FBNN at 331-3663 or check the Kids Cafe page online at www.fbnn.org.