CLACKAMAS, OR — As schools let out for summer break across the metro region this week, the North Clackamas School District wants to remind parents that several locations throughout Clackamas County will offer free lunches for kids 18 years old and younger.
According to district spokesman Jonathan Hutchison, more than 200,000 kids in Oregon eat free school meals daily; and when school is not in session those same 200,000 kids still need to eat. To balance that need, 15 district and community facilities will open for about an hour, mostly from Monday to Friday beginning June 26, to allow kids who need it an opportunity to eat. Kids under 6 years old are required to have a parent or guardian present. Adults can pick up a lunch for $4.25.
“Ultimately, this is about trying to prevent food insecurity,” Hutchison told Patch on Monday. “This notion of providing food to kids 18 and under is occurring across the nation as more people recognize that being hungry affects a child’s ability to learn, work, and play.”
Working with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs, the district and others have helped promote and advocate for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which funds the free summer meals for many organizations. The SFSP is a foundational arm of Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.
The program also helps working parents who would not normally be home during the day by offering not only a meal but also something for the kids to do. Unfortunately, however, not all parents are aware of the program, according to Steve Wytcherley, program director at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.
“While summer meals can be a huge benefit to children and communities, families often experience barriers to accessing the program,” Wytcherley said in a statement. “Parents can be unaware of local programs, or don’t realize that their kids are welcome to drop in.”
A majority of the drop-in lunch locations are district facilities, such as Whitcomb Elementary in Milwaukie or Oak Grove School in Oak Grove. Other locations include a Boys & Girls Club, a library, and an apartment complex. Many of the sites, Hutchison said, also offer “fun, supervised enrichment activities for kids,” in addition to the free meals; and North Clackamas Parks & Recreation’s RecMobile also partners with some locations to host the mobile fun center for kids ages 6 to 10.
The free program is open to any child in the region. No proof of residency is required.
For more information, and to see if schools in your area are offering free lunches through the Summer Food Service Program, visit www.summerfoodoregon.org.
The North Clackamas Summer Food Program will operate at the following locations at the specified dates and times (all locations are closed July 4):
Oak Grove School — 2150 S.E. Torbank Rd., Oak Grove
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday, from June 26 to Sept. 1. *RecMobile is scheduled to visit on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 27 to Aug. 10. Ardenwald Elementary — 8950 S.E. 36th Ave., Milwaukie
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, from June 26 to July 12; and11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug.14 to Aug. 24. *RecMobile is scheduled to visit on Wednesdays from June 28 through July 12.Whitcomb Elementary School — 7400 S.E. Thompson Rd., Milwaukie
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from June 26 to July 20; and11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 14 to Aug. 24.Ledding Library — 10660 S.E. 21st Ave., Milwaukie
Providing snacks only from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, from June 27 to Aug. 10.*RecMobile is scheduled to visit on Tuesdays from June 27 to Aug. 8.Oak Lodge Library — 16201 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie
Providing snacks only from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Thursdays, from June 29 to Aug. 3.Schellenberg Technical Center — 14450 S.E. Johnson Rd., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, from July 5 to July 28. Town Center Station Apartments — 8719 S.E. Monterey Ave., Happy Valley
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays (with activities going until 2 p.m.), from July 10 to Aug. 21. Alder Creek Middle School — 13801 S.E. Webster Rd., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from July 31 to Aug. 3.Rowe Middle School — 3606 S.E. Lake Rd., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 3 to Aug. 10. Bilquist Elementary School — 15708 S.E. Webster Rd., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 14 to Aug. 24.Lewelling Elementary School — 5325 S.E. Logus Rd., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 14 to Aug. 24.Linwood Elementary School — 11909 S.E. Linwood Ave., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 14 to Aug. 24.Milwaukie Elementary School — 11250 S.E. 27th Ave., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 14 to Aug. 24.Riverside Elementary School — 16303 S.E. River Rd., Milwaukie
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Aug. 14. to Aug. 24.