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.

Cases: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3055568

Reported Deaths: 34441
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103280614122
San Bernardino2561091560
Riverside2504362645
San Diego2168352109
Orange2148082477
Santa Clara943661109
Kern86718565
Fresno82485968
Sacramento806781111
Alameda67952765
Ventura62101436
San Joaquin58290786
Contra Costa52965450
Stanislaus42882758
Tulare41867506
Monterey36126255
San Mateo32596309
San Francisco29321262
Solano25806106
Imperial25317465
Santa Barbara25083236
Merced24452308
Sonoma24068240
Kings19435145
Placer17380180
San Luis Obispo15929136
Madera13443151
Santa Cruz12298113
Marin11693157
Yolo10620131
Shasta9776122
Butte9474123
El Dorado782644
Sutter775478
Napa760140
Lassen519516
San Benito496343
Yuba495127
Tehama397142
Tuolumne338240
Nevada320673
Mendocino311432
Amador301631
Lake261230
Humboldt239324
Glenn193519
Colusa17339
Calaveras161723
Siskiyou144613
Mono11214
Inyo97429
Del Norte8662
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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Medford
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Dry and mild Wednesday
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