Helping Works

Picnic in the Park provides healthy lunches for children during summer break

Children can enjoy a lunch and activities at community parks and schools, five days a week through Aug. 9 at Picnic in the Park.
Children can enjoy a lunch and activities at community parks and schools, five days a week through Aug. 9 at Picnic in the Park. Idaho Statesman file photo

It’s summer break (wahoo!), which means kids said “peace out” to homework, class assignments and papers, and “what’s up” to fun, friends and everything not related to school.

And although probably nobody misses the classwork during summer vacation, some do miss that guaranteed lunch Monday through Friday.

Enter Picnic in the Park, a summer feeding program by The Idaho Foodbank that provides free lunches for children through age 18.

Every Monday through Friday (with the exception of July 4), children can enjoy a healthy meal and participate in educational and/or physical activities at parks around the Boise area.

All kids eat free. For a small charge, adults can enjoy lunch, too.

The program kicked off on June 3 and continues through Aug. 9.

It is estimated that nearly 70,000 children in Idaho rely on free and reduced-price lunches and breakfasts during the school year, according to The Idaho Foodbank.

Therefore, this summer feeding program “helps to fill the nutritional gap.”

For a list of the locations and the menu, go to idahofoodbank.org/programs or text “FOOD” to 877-877.

The Boise School District also provides meal services this summer. For feeding sites, visit boiseschools.org and click Parents & Patrons, and then select Food & Nutrition Services.

For locations and information in the Nampa/Caldwell area, go to oasiswc.org/oasis-summer-feeding.

Michelle Jenkins compiles event calendars, archives and writes a Helping Works column for the Idaho Statesman. She attended Boise State University and grew up in New Plymouth, Idaho.
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