Schools fight summer hunger with free meal programs for kids
School districts across Oregon are fighting summer hunger with free
meal programs for kids.
Many families struggle with food insecurity when schools are out over the summer. For these families, both schools and other local programs provide vital resources over the summer months.
Alisha Dodds is Community Relations and Communications Director at Bethel School District.
“We know that summertime can be stressful for families who depend on school meals as part of their day, and we want to be making sure that students and children in the area are fed breakfast and lunch as much as possible,” she said. “So we try to make our program as accessible as possible.”
Bethel’s program starts on June 26 and ends on August 4. Like most school summer meal programs, this leaves gaps in coverage at either end of the summer. Dodds said this is to give the district’s nutritional services staff time to transition between the school year and the summer program.
“In August, it’s kind of the same thing, but we’re prepping for the next school year,” she said. “We have staff come back to work beginning the first week of August, and so, we’re just getting our staff–our nutrition services staff–back to their buildings and getting them to switch gears back to regular school.”
Additional summer food resources are available through Food for Lane County and to Bethel district families at the Cascade Family Resource Center at Cascade Middle School.
For additional resources, visit SummerFoodOregon.org, call 2-1-1, or text “food” or “comida” to 304-304.