Local school districts offering free summer meal programs amidst pandemic

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. — The school year may be wrapping up, but many local school districts are offering summer lunch programs to help keep kids fed amidst the pandemic.

“It doesn’t matter where you live or who you are, as long as your kid is 1-18, you can access meals just about anywhere,” said nutrition supervisor for Central Point School District 6, Anne Leavens.

Many local school districts are offering free meals over the summer.

Beginning June 15th, districts are offering free meals to kids aged 1 – 18.

No registration or paperwork is required.

Leavens says over 1,000 families are using it’s program.

“The last few Mondays have been around 1,300 and Fridays are between 1,600/1,650 [families],” she said.

The programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has extended districts waivers on giving meals to kids throughout the summer.

“The schools are an important source of food for a lot of children,” said Marcee Champion, food programs director for Access.

She says food programs are vital for children.

“Summers are always a struggle, but if you think about it, this summer started early in terms of food insecurity for children because they weren’t able to be at school during the day,” Champion said.

Pick up sites are listed online, with some school districts even delivering meals to kids.

“It provides a sense of community, it helps parents not have to scramble to figure out a meal plan for every meal of the day and I think for families it’s a critical connection to both food security and to the community,” said Champion.

For kids who may not be able to visit a school district site to pick up a meal, the state recently implemented Pandemic-EBT benefits for students who have access to free meals through the national school lunch program.

The P-EBT card would allow families to get additional groceries.

Below you can click the different districts for more information on summer food programs:

Central Point School District 6

Medford School District 549c

Grants Pass School District 7

Ashland School District 5

Phoenix-Talent School District 4

Eagle Point School District 9

Additionally, to find specific meal pick-up sites, click here.

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