Free Summer Meals Available in Parks, Schools

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Beginning Monday, June 6, the Idaho Foodbank again launches its annual Picnic in the Park program, serving nutritional meals to children in need, relieving stress for parents who can’t always put food on the table. Additionally, Boise and Meridian schools will open their cafeterias Mondays through Fridays for free meals during the summer to close the school food-service gap.

Entering its 11th year, the Foodbank works with Boise and Meridian school districts, Boise Parks and Recreation and community sponsors to increase the number of Picnic in the Park locations to 18 sites. Foodbank vans are also expected to service six routes to apartment complexes and mobile home parks, targeting children of low-income families.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for kids,” Idaho Foodbank spokesman David Proctor told Citydesk.

The Foodbank’s goal for the summer is to provide 50,000 meals to the Boise area and some Meridian sites, nearly double the meals distributed in the summer of 2010. While the program targets food-insecure children, anyone between the ages of 1 and 18 are served, no questions asked. Adults are welcome to join the picnic as well, paying just a dollar for the meal.

“It’s a really great program that we encourage the public to use” Proctor said.

The Idaho Foodbank will provide lunches at various parks, apartments and schools starting Monday, June 6, running through Aug. 7 and the Meridian School District from Thursday, June 9 until Aug. 5. The Boise School District will have some breakfast sites in addition to lunches in select schools from Tuesday, June 7, to July 29. For information and a list of all free lunch locations, visit the Idaho Foodbank’s website.

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