Free lunches available for youth at LA County parks this summer
Approximately 100,000 snacks and lunches will be provided free of charge this summer to children at 46 Los Angeles County parks, officials announced Saturday.
The 2022 Summer Food Service Program kicks off Monday and runs until Aug. 5. It runs Monday through Friday, with lunch served between noon and 1 p.m. and snacks served between 3 and 4 p.m. No food will be provided on June 20 or July 4.
Children under 18 years of age are invited to receive a nutritious lunch and snack that includes vegetables, fruits, seeds and dairy products such as milk, string cheese and yogurt.
The program is presented by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Education, the LA County Board of Supervisors and the county’s Department of Public Health.
“Food insecurity can have significant negative impacts on the healthy development of children and can increase the risks for depression and other mental health conditions among adolescents,” said Norma García-González, Los Angeles County’s director of parks and recreation.
“Ensuring the consistent delivery of out-of-school-time lunch and snack programs through our department’s summer recreation programs and activities will expand access to nutritious food,” she continued. “Access to nutritious food partnered with quality out-of-school-time activities is especially needed for many families during this time of economic stress.”
Created to help reduce the growing percentage of young people in the United States challenged by obesity or lack of consistent access to wholesome meals, the program aims to provide a healthy alternative for children when school is out for the summer.
Participating parks must service areas within the geographical boundaries of elementary, middle or high school attendance areas with at least 50% of students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
To locate a summer lunch and snack site at an LA County park near you, visit parks.lacounty.gov/summerlunch/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name= &utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=.