Oregon Offers Free School Lunches Through the Summer Months

Kids who who qualify for free school meals during the school year can also get those services during the summer in most of Southern Oregon's towns and cities.

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 2:46 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 2:49 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Every year, thousands of Oregon kids in need receive free meals at school. When the summer comes, however, those breakfasts, lunches, and after-school meals all go away.

Oregon's Summer Food Service Program was founded to bridge that gap—bringing free, nutritious meals to children and teens during the summer months.

“We know the important role that child nutrition plays during the school year and it’s just as crucial in the summer months when children don’t have access to school meals,” Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education, said. “We encourage families and caregivers to take advantage of this opportunity to help ensure the children they care for have access to good nutrition over the summer.”

The program isn't new, but neither is it well-known. According to the organizers, it is extremely "underutilized." Across the nation, only one out of every six children who receive free or reduced price meals during the school year continue to receive those meals during the summer.

Meal locations can be found at school, parks, and other central locations in the community. In Southern Oregon alone, there are dozens of sources in nearly every town—from Medford, to Klamath Falls, to Cave Junction.

“The Summer Foods Lunch Program in Klamath Falls allows us to provide lunches to kids who would otherwise go hungry,” said Integral Youth Services Outreach Programs Director Craig Schuhmann. “Over the course of the summer we serve 24,000 lunches at 30 different sites, rural and city, over a ten week period. This affords us the opportunity to combine our efforts with local community partners to provide education and enrichment activities while the youth are gathered to eat. Many appreciative parents have told us that this program helps to stretch an already tight food budget.”

Families can look up meal locations in their area by calling 2-1-1, or texting “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877, or visiting the Summer Food Oregon website. Meals are available for any child 18 and under without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

A complete list of free meal locations throughout Oregon may be viewed and downloaded below.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99387

Reported Deaths: 3819
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles478452145
Riverside7139303
San Diego6797249
Orange5578131
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda298693
Santa Clara2675139
San Francisco239940
San Mateo190482
Kern187629
Tulare177179
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa135337
Imperial135224
Sacramento131056
Ventura91230
San Joaquin77133
Kings6882
Stanislaus65928
Sonoma5154
Solano45520
Monterey4298
Marin41714
Merced2687
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19822
Placer1889
Napa1093
Humboldt942
Madera852
El Dorado780
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta364
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino220
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Lake140
Calaveras140
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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