The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Education and the Department of Public Health, will provide approximately 300,000 free snacks and lunch this summer to children at 48 county parks in 15 school districts.
The 2016 free Summer Food Service Program kicked off on Monday, June 13, and will conclude Friday, August 5. Lunch and snacks will be served between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Exact times vary depending on location.
Created to help reduce the growing percentage of young people in the United States challenged by obesity or lack of consistent access to wholesome meals, the program aims to provide a healthy alternative for children when school is out for the summer.
Monday through Friday during each week of the program, children 18 years of age and under are invited to receive a nutritious lunch and snack, with fare that include vegetables, fruits, seeds and healthy dairy products like milk, string cheese and yogurt.
In order for participating parks to qualify for the program, they must service areas within the geographical boundaries of elementary, middle or high school attendance area with at least 50% of its students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
“Healthy eating is essential to healthy recreation, so we are very proud to take the lead on this program,” said Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation Director John Wicker. “It is always wonderful to welcome young people to our parks, and we hope they will come for a healthy lunch and snack and stay for all of the great programs, facilities and other amenities that our parks offer to their communities.”
The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation provides the citizens of Los Angeles County diverse, quality recreational opportunities with its organized sports and health-oriented programs at more than 177 facilities, including local and community parks, golf courses, hiking and equestrian trails, natural areas and wildlife sanctuaries, lakes, arboreta and botanic gardens, public swimming pools and the world-famous Hollywood Bowl and John Anson Ford Amphitheatre.