Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Lunch Program Under Way

San Diego's kids are being invited to "Power Up Your Summer" at any one of 69 locations in the city that will be serving free lunch this summer.

San Diego Unified's Food Services Department and the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department are once again joining forces to bring the US Department of Agriculture's Seamless Summer Feeding Option to kids throughout the region. The theme this year is "Power Up Your Summer."
"This program provides an important bridge over the summer for children when school is out and they no longer have access to school meals," said Gary Petill, San Diego Unified's Food Services Director. "Good nutrition is very important to a child's continued growth during the summer."

Lunches are being offered at a variety of locations, ranging from city recreation centers, to schools, to military bases beginning June 20. Use the table at the bottom of this story to find a location near you.

To kick off this year's Summer Fun Café, a free-for-the-whole-family barbecue is being held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, at the Skyline Hills Community Park, 8285 Skyline Dr. (92114). All kids, as well as their parents/guardians, can receive a free lunch. The WalMart Foundation is funding adult meals at this event, where the San Diego Padres' Friar and Pad Squad are scheduled to perform.

Other activities scheduled for Wednesday include fruit and veggie games, a bike and backpack raffle, the Let’s Move Dance Flash Mob, plus cooking demonstrations by Chef Alex Carballo. Many community organizations will provide information about low cost utility and healthcare programs, health screenings, immunizations, food assistance, housing, counseling and summer activities, as well as distributing free fruit and vegetables. There will also be an inflatable jumper, crafts and music by Radio Latina. Children can participate in all the activities at this and other barbecues throughout the summer, earning points toward a super cool Power Up Your Summer patch.

Most of the 69 locations will have a similar barbecue during the summer, but daily fare is much more simple. Kids receive a sandwich, fruit and juice for lunch, all in line with federal nutritional guidelines. Breakfast will be served at 35 locations, mostly schools, beginning in late July.

"Each parent and guardian can be assured that their child is getting a good breakfast or lunch through this program," said Petill.