MEDFORD, Ore. – As school ends, it means many families have difficulty feeding their children over the summer. Now, local and national efforts want to make sure no child goes hungry in the summer months.
Schools, community groups, and faith services have begun offering summer lunch programs to children. Medford began its programs Tuesday, and offers free hot meals to every child that attends. About 100 kids packed the Jackson Elementary School cafeteria for a meal of nachos, fruits and vegetables.
“They can focus on having fun, building their bodies and learning new things, and not worry about where their meal is coming from,” said Jeff Ashmun of Sodexo, which provides the meals in Medford.
According to the Oregon Department of Education, of the 200,000 students who receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year, just more than 40,000 – about 20 percent – are fed by summer programs.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is now calling on groups across the country to expand their summer lunch programs to make sure than no child goes hungry.
Free meals will be served this summer at the following sites:
Medford School District
Jackson Elementary School, June 17 to Aug. 9
Rogue Valley YMCA, June 11 to Aug. 31
Jefferson Elementary School, June 17 to Aug. 9
Lilac Meadows Apts., June 17 to Aug. 15
Barnett Townhomes, June 17 to Aug. 15
Glenridge Terrace Apts., June 24 to Aug. 29
Phoenix-Talent School District
Talent Elementary School, June 17 to Aug. 23
Phoenix Elementary School, June 25 to Aug. 1
Anderson Vista Apts., June 17 to Aug. 15
Central Point School District
Central Point Elementary, June 24 to Aug.9, and Aug. 12 to Aug. 23
Don Jones Memorial Park, June 24 to Aug. 9
Robert Pfaff Park, June 24 to Aug. 9
Jewett Elementary, Aug. 12 to Aug. 23
Eagle Point School District
Mountain View Elementary, June 17 to Aug. 16
White Mountain Middle School (must be enrolled), July 8 to July 26
Hillside Elementary, July 8 to July 26
Eagle Point Middle School, July 8 to July 26
Shady Cove, June 17 to June 21, Enrolled only on Aug. 12 to Aug. 22
Upper Rogue Community Center (must be enrolled), July 1 to Aug. 9