In San Diego's Unified School District, more than 70,000 kids qualify for free or reduced-priced meals during the school year. When school breaks for summer many of these kids face set backs in health and learning because they don't have access to nutritional meals. That's why the Summer Fun Cafe program is so important.
Throughout the summer, more than 300,000 meals and snacks will be served to San Diego children (ages 18 and younger) through the Summer Fun Cafe, a federally funded program that provides meals when school is not in session.
San Diego Unified Food and Nutrition Services will work in conjunction with the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, Public Libraries, YMCAs, the San Diego Food Bank, and military youth programs and more to serve healthy lunches and numerous locations AND provide enrichment activities.
Timing: June 18 - August 17, 2018 (weekdays only).
Locations: take a look at this list to find a location near you.
The meals are provided at no cost to kids and teens 18 and younger. Registration is not required.
The program will kick off with a special barbecue event on June 20, 2018 at Skyline Hills Park where the whole family can enjoy: a FREE delicious barbecue, a community resource fair, a fitness camp provided by the San Diego Kings, a Fern Street Circus performance, fresh fruit and vegetables that families can take home provided by the San Diego Food Bank, plus the chance to win prizes.
Most sites open June 18 and run until August 17. A full list of serving locations, dates and times can be found at www.sandiegounified.org/summermeals. Parents, guardians and children can also find serving sites near them by calling 211 or texting ‘FOOD’ or ‘COMIDA’ to 877-877.
By providing free, nutritious meals throughout the summer, the Summer Fun Café ensures that every child has access to the food they need to go to school ready to learn. However, only 10 percent of children who were eligible for the summer meals program participated last year.
“The Summer Fun Café is a vital resource for thousands of families in San Diego,” said Gary Petill, director of food and nutrition at San Diego Unified. “These are kids who just want to focus on being kids and not spend their time worrying about when they’ll be able to eat again.”
“Our challenge is to make sure every child who needs a meal knows where they can find one, wherever they are in San Diego,” said Petill. “We are working with local resources and partner organizations to help inform people where the summer food program sites are located and how children can participate.”
Special barbecue events are scheduled at sites throughout the summer to help raise awareness about the Summer Fun Café program. At these special barbecues, parents and guardians accompanying their children are also able to receive a meal at no cost thanks to funding from sponsors, including: Mission Federal Credit Union, San Diego Honda Dealers, General Mills, Aetna Better Health of California and Nunhems USA.