L.A. County Parks Offer Free Lunch and Snacks for Children, Youth

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Free grab-and-go lunches and snacks will be available to children and teens 18 years and younger at 49 Los Angeles County parks beginning today.

The free lunch program run by the Department of Parks and Recreation will offer meals from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday through Aug. 7. Lunches and snacks will be available for pickup only, and face coverings and physical distancing of six feet will be required to ensure safety.

“We know many families rely on lunch and snack programs to provide free, nutritious food for their children, perhaps now more than ever,'' said Department of Parks and Recreation Acting Director Norma Garcia. “We are honored to welcome the children and youth of our parks to pick up healthy, reliable meal during summer.''

Children and youth ages 18 and under will receive a free nutritious lunch and snack that include vegetables, fruits, seeds and healthy dairy products like milk, string cheese and yogurt. The program was created to help reduce the growing percentage of young Americans challenged by obesity or lacking consistent access to wholesome meals.

It provides a healthy alternative for students when school is out for the summer. Participating parks must service areas in which at least 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, according to the parks agency.

Every summer season, about 300,000 free snacks and lunches are provided to the communities in greatest need. The program is funded in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California Department of Education and the county Department of Public Health.

A full list of locations is available at parks.lacounty.gov/summerlunch.

The county library system is launching a similar program Wednesday and will offer lunches between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday -- except for July 3 -- at 24 library locations. A full list of library locations can be found at LACountyLibrary.org/SummerLunch.

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