Free Lunch at Long Beach Parks Keeps Hunger at Bay for LB Kids

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free-lunches-long-beachFor many children, school breaks are not enjoyable or relaxing. They signal a time of loneliness, boredom, and even hunger. For children in low-income neighborhoods, playing outside can be unsafe; watching television fills their day; and skipping meals becomes routine.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) can reverse these conditions and make school breaks a healthy and fun experience for all children. The program can even prepare them for the coming school year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began the SFSP to fill the nutrition gap for children from low-income areas. Many children who qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the regular school year do not have access to these meals during school breaks. Children in an eligible area can go to their school, a park, or another approved SFSP site, and receive free lunches during their school break.

When coupled with a physical and/or academic activity, feeding sites can also provide children with a safe and supervised learning environment. Even without an organized activity, children can still benefit from the opportunity to meet with friends or make new ones under responsible adult supervision.

Unfortunately, the program only reaches a small percentage of children who qualify. Although millions of children depend on nutritious free and reduced-price meals and snacks during the school year, just a fraction of that receive the free meals provided by the SFSP when school is out. Many more children need to be reached by this program. Parents, school administrators, and community organizations can help to increase awareness of the program and ensure that qualified communities are being served.

Again this year, the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program for children, Monday through Friday, from June 22 through August 25. There will be no service on Friday, June 26, July 3, and July 31, 2009. Free meals will be available to all attending children who are 18 or younger. 

For more information on the Summer Food Program, call (562) 570-3535. 

These Long Beach Parks will serve meals June 22 through August 25, unless otherwise noted:

  • Admiral Kidd Park (ADP 100) 
    2125 Santa Fe Avenue 
    12:30 pm – 1:15 pm / 570-1600
  • Bixby Park (ADP 40)
    130 Cherry Avenue, 
    12:15 pm – 1:15 pm / 570-1601
  • California Recreation Center @ McBride Park (ADP 50) 
    1550 Martin Luther King Avenue 
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm / 570-1605
  • Cesar E. Chavez Park (ADP 60) 
    401 Golden Avenue 
    12:00 pm – 12:30 pm / 570-8890
  • Cherry Park (ADP 40) 
    1901 E. 45th Street 
    11:00 am – 12:00 pm / 570-1615
  • Coolidge Park (ADP 30) 
    352 E. Neece Street 
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm / 570-1618
  • Davenport Park (ADP 30)
    2910 E. 55th Way
    11:15 am – 12:15 pm / 570-3561
  • DeForest Park (ADP 60)
    6255 DeForest Avenue
    11:45 am – 12:45 pm / 570-1620
  • Drake Park (ADP 65)
    951 Maine Avenue
    12:30 pm – 1:30 pm / 570-1625
  • Freeman PAL (ADP 50)
    1205 Freeman Avenue
    11:15 am – 12:15 pm / 570-8688
  • Houghton Park (ADP 90)
    6301 Myrtle Avenue
    12:15 pm – 1:15 pm / 570-1640
  • MacArthur park (ADP 70)
    1321 E. Anaheim St.
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm / 570-1655
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Park (ADP 75)
    1950 Lemon Avenue
    11:00 am – 12:00 pm / 570-4405
  • Miracle on 4th Street Park (ADP 35)
    1518 E. 4th Street
    12:00 pm – 12:45 pm / 570-1786
  • Ramona Park (ADP 100)
    3301 E. 65th Street
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm / 570-1665
  • Scherer Park (ADP 90)
    4600 Long Beach Blvd.
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 570-1674
  • Silverado Park (ADP 150)
    1545 West 31st Street
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 570-1675
  • Somerset Park (ADP 30)
    1500 E. Carson Street
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 570-1690
  • Springdale Apartments (ADP 60)
    2095 Spring Street
    11:00 am – 12:00 pm / 424-6003
  • Stearns Park (ADP 80)
    4520 E. 23rd Street
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm / 570-1685
  • Veterans Park (ADP 50)
    101 E. 28th Street
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm / 570-1695
  • 14th Street Park (ADP 50)
    Chestnut/14th Street
    12:15 pm – 1:00 pm / 305-5098

These Long Beach Community organizations will serve meals June 22 through August 25, unless otherwise noted:

  • Antioch Missionary Baptist Church (ADP 20)
    1535 Gundry Avenue
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Boys & Girls Club, Eastman/Fairfield (ADP 125)
    700 East Del Amo Blvd.
    12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Boys & Girls Club, Washington Branch (ADP 90)
    1450 Cedar Avenue
    12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • First Congregational Church(ADP 150)
    241 Cedar Avenue
    11:30 am – 12:30 pm
    (June 25th through August 7th)
  • Open DoorEnrichment Center (ADP 70)
    132 E. Artesia Blvd.
    11:30 – 12:30 pm

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