Orange County students can still receive free lunches during summer break

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, aimed at providing nutritious meals to student while they’re out of school.

map of Orange county school meal sitesThere’s 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.

“For some of our students, school lunch is their primary source of food during the school year,” Bob Harden, president of the Garden Grove Unified School Board said in a news release. “This program meets a real need to fight hunger for our children.”

In Garden Grove Unified starting June 18, lunches will be offered at locations that include Lincoln Education Center, Rancho Alamitos High, Garden Grove High Schools, the Stanford branch of the Garden Grove Library and the Chapman branch of the Garden Grove Library.

Lunches can include sandwiches, hot dogs, burritos, pizza and spaghetti and salads.

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.

Meanwhile, select libraries in Orange County are also offering healthy lunches to children and teens throughout the summer.