Thursday, June 13, 2013

Free lunch for kids returns to schools, parks for summer

Summer Fun Cafe
San Diego kids can once again invite their parents to a big, free barbecue kickoff event that opens San Diego Unified School District’s Summer Fun Café program.

The barbecue is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013m at Skyline Hills Community Park, 8285 Skyline Dr. SD 92114. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 For many low-income children in California and across the nation, summer break is often far from ideal. It can mean limited access to summer learning/enrichment opportunities as well as discontinued access to the daily nutrition provided through schools.

Summer Fun Café bridges that gap and requires no paperwork or income qualifications to participate.
San Diego Unified School District Food Services Department partners with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, Military Child and Youth Programs, San Diego Public Library and several non-profit organizations to help fill this gap by providing free, healthy meals and physical activities in low- income neighborhoods when school is out. The Summer Fun Café is funded through the US Department of Agriculture’s “Seamless Summer Feeding Option” and will be at 65 locations: 28 city Park and Recreation Centers, 13 community and military sites, and 24 schools. For complete schedule and locations, go to and select Summer Fun Café or go to

This summer’s theme is Eat Smart/Play Hard, which is the motto of our mascot from the USDA, Power Panther™. The Power Panther stands for eating healthy food and being physically active every day.

“Let’s make this summer count,” said Gary Petill, San Diego Unified’s Food Services Director. “All children are invited to have lunch with us and join the fun and activities all summer long. Then, when they head back to school in the fall, they will be strong and ready to learn.”

The kickoff event on Tuesday, June 18, features a free BBQ lunch for all children and accompanying adults. This exceptional event for children and their families will also feature visits from the Power Panther, and the San Diego Padres Friar and Pad Squad, fun fruit and veggie games with lots of prizes, an inflatable jumper, crafts, music, bike drawings, health clinics, community information booths, cooking demonstrations and much more. And every family goes home with a bag of fruits and vegetables from the San Diego Food Bank or Feeding America San Diego.