Free meals offered at schools, community centers across OC this summer

Dozens of schools, community centers, parks and other locations across Orange County have begun serving free lunches and breakfasts this summer to children ages 18 and under. No forms are needed. Everyone is welcome.

The meals are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Meals Program, created to provide nutritious meals to students while they’re out of school.

a map of sites offering free lunchesThere are about 150 sites across the county offering summer meals to children. The federal program has an online map to help families find locations, times and menus.

Educators have said that for some students, their school lunch is their primary source of food during the school year. The summer meal program meets a real need to fight hunger for children, they said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture works with school districts and community groups that in Orange County include the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Club to provide the free meals. The federal program, which began in 1968, served more than 2 million children in the U.S. last year.

Six libraries across the region will also offer free lunches to students.