SEATTLE-- It's a program that helps thousands of kids and teens get the nutritious meals they need over the summer; meals that many families cannot afford.
"The Summer Food Service Program helps ensure that all children have access to a nutritious meal during the school break," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said at this year's launch. "Many school-aged children and working families in Seattle count on free and reduced school lunches during the school year. When school is out, this program can be a big help to those families."
The Summer Food Service Program launched nationally back in the 1960's, and last year in Seattle alone, over five thousand kids and teens received these much-needed free meals over the summer.
"The city of Seattle provides great meals that meet all of the USDA rules and regulations on... a healthy balanced meal," says Javier Pulido, the program's supervisor. "What we really want to do is let kids know, and families, that there are programs right around the corner from where they live."
Over 100 locations offer up these meals throughout the summer, from churches to community centers, and parks, like the one in White Center where we caught up with Fox Kesterson and her family.
"That's probably 15, 20 dollars sitting right there, if you had to go to the store and buy it," Fox told us, gesturing to the day's lunch of pizza pita pockets, fresh veggies and fruit. "When you add that up at the end of the week- that's a grocery bill!"
In addition to free meals, activities like arts and crafts are often offered. As Fox shared with us, it has become a great way to get to know your neighbors and gather as a community.
The nutritious lunches, breakfasts and snacks are offered for free for nine weeks throughout the summer. To find the location nearest you, click HERE to head to the website, and enter in your zip code.