Local kids through age 18 have been enjoying free lunches this summer at locations across Sacramento County, thanks to United Way California Capital Region’s summer meals program. Several Sacramento-area sites will continue to serve free summer meals through Aug. 11:
- Washington Square Apartments, 4018 10th Street, Sacramento
- Glen Ellen Mutual Housing Community, 2394 Glen Ellen Circle, Sacramento
- Mutual Housing on the Greenway, 6311 Sampson Boulevard, Sacramento
- Mutual Housing at Lemon Hill, 6000 Lemon Hill Avenue, Sacramento
- Fruitridge Community Collaborative, 4625 44th Street, Sacramento
- West Sacramento Recreation Center, 2801, Jefferson Boulevard, West Sacramento
- Arthur F. Turner Community Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue, West Sacramento (through Aug. 10)
“We already have too many kids struggling with food insecurity in our region, and that number gets even higher during summertime when kids don’t have after-school meals as an option,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We’re encouraging all families to take advantage of this great opportunity to make sure kids have enough to eat this summer.”
United Way and its partners are providing summer literacy activities at the meal sites to ensure kids do not experience what Bray refers to as “summer slide.”
“Kids who don’t read during the summer can go back to school in the fall up to three grade levels behind where they were when they left for summer break,” Bray said. “So we’re working with our summer meals sites to also provide educational activities while kids are already there for food. With bellies full of healthy food, and brains full of fun learning activities, kids will return to school in the fall ready to keep learning.”
In the capital region, one in five children struggles with food insecurity. United Way’s healthy meals program increases local children’s consumption of well-balanced, nutritious meals after school and throughout the summer. Meals are made with high-quality, minimally processed ingredients that are nutrient dense, low-sodium, have minimal preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. The focus on local produce helps expose kids to a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. For more information about United Way’s summer meals program: www.yourlocalunitedway.org/summermeals.
United Way’s healthy meals program is part of its Square One Project, United Way California Capital Region’s 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones to prepare for success in college or career. To learn more or make a donation: www.yourlocalunitedway.org.