School may be out for the summer, but students can still get free summer meals starting Monday. More than 500 sites will take part across Oregon.
Many children rely on the free food they receive at school. Anti-hunger advocates want to be sure families know that kids can still get the food they need over summer break.
The hundreds of meal sites in Oregon include more than 130 schools and parks in the Portland area. But there are spots throughout Oregon, from Brookings to Ontario.
Patti Whitney-Wise with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon says the program has been growing by 200,000 meals a year. She says this summer, it's gaining a foothold in Crook County.
She explained, "Prineville is going to have, I believe, three or four summer food sites this year, where they had none. And they have a very high concentration of low-income children, so we’re really excited about that happening."
Whitney-Wise says budget problems forced cutbacks to summer food programs around Salem a year ago. But she says more sites can be found near Salem this year.
The summer meal sites are focused on places with high poverty rates. But the food is available to kids regardless of family income. Sites can be found at summerfoodoregon.org.
You can also call Call 1-800-SAFENET (1-800-723-3638).