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Free summer meals available at 23 locations

June 23, 2010
Children enjoy a free meal
Children enjoy a free lunch at Peninsula Park, one of 23 free meal sites in Portland.
A summerlong series of free meals and activities is under way at parks, schools, pools and community centers across Portland.
Portland Public Schools, SUN Community Schools, Portland Parks & Recreation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are providing the lunches -- and breakfast at some sites -- at no charge to children ages 1-18 at 23 locations within the school district, with additional sites operating throughout Oregon. Most will operate weekdays through Aug. 27.
 
Locations and meal times are also available by calling Oregon SafeNet at 1-800-SAFENET (723-3638).

Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen credits strong partnerships among PPS, the city, the county and community agencies for making the program possible.

"The summer food program can be a huge help for families who are trying to stretch a limited food budget in tough economic times," he says. "It also gives parents, kids, and teens a chance to get outside and meet other people in their community."

No application or paperwork is necessary to participate. Sites are open to all children on a first-come, first-served basis; adult meals cost $3.75. Activities may include games, swimming, and arts and crafts.  
 
The Agriculture Department provides federal funding for summer meals in areas where more than 50 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals during the school year. PPS, the city of Portland and Multnomah County provide additional funding to staff the programs.

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