Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
Daniel Camou, an incoming junior at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, helps pack strawberries at CALL Primrose center in Burlingame.
For some students, the only nutritious meal they receive is at school, so with summer vacation in full swing, a number of Bay Area groups are working to provide food.
One such program, which is new, is the Burlingame CALL Primrose’s summer lunch program that runs June 15-Aug. 30. The program is open to all families, not just clients of the nonprofit. Current CALL Primrose clients with children under 18 will be offered an additional bag/box of groceries filled with items specifically geared toward the nutritional needs and taste preferences of children. These extra groceries will be available to families on the same bi-monthly schedule as groceries that are currently offered.
“It was spurred by the fact that we’ve been finding out that children on free and reduced lunch programs need support when the school year ends,” said Terri Boesch, who recently took over as interim director of CALL. “We felt like there is such a need there. I think sometimes we think it doesn’t exist here, but it does. The big challenge is to make everyone aware because this is the first time we’ve done this.”
Families are sometimes afraid to provide a lot of information, so this is why non-clients are being allowed to participate in the summer program, she said.
Student volunteers help assist in the summer program. The center’s volunteer coordinator, Kit Rhoades, said the program is good for kids to get involved in the community.
“They’re learning the value of giving back,” he said. “They’re coming here to a place where we really do good.”
Volunteer Daniel Camou agrees with Rhoades.
“I like how they make the people in need feel like they’re human and normal,” he said. “It’s not unlike going to the grocery store.”
In conjunction with the summer lunch program, CALL is offering Saturday hours at the center, from 9 a.m.-noon, on the first and third Saturday of each month during the summer. Pre-registration is not required. Proof of residency and valid photo ID are requested at signup. Participating families may pick up lunch supplies twice per month.
Meanwhile, there are other food programs along the Peninsula this summer. There’s a free summer lunch program at Sunnybrae and Horrall elementary schools that runs 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m., Monday-Friday, June 16-Aug. 15. The Child Nutrition Services Department is offering the lunches to all kids and teens 18 and under with no paperwork necessary. Sunnybrae is located at 1031 S. Delaware St. in San Mateo and Horrall is located at 949 Ocean View Ave. in San Mateo.
In the South San Francisco Unified School District, a lunch program will be hosted at Los Cerritos and Martin elementary schools, both in South San Francisco, and will offer children free lunches this summer beginning June 2. The program will operate 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Participants do not need to be students in the South San Francisco Unified School District, but they must be under the age of 18.
There are locations in San Bruno and Redwood City that are also offering summer meals.
To find out more about summer lunch meal programs throughout the state, families can go to cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/sn/summersites14.asp for a map to find out where to take their children to receive free meals during the summer recess. The online interactive map can be searched by county and displays locations, contact information, and dates of operation. Families can also call the National Hunger Hotline at (866) 3hungry or (877) 8hambre (for Spanish speakers). For a list of free summer meals and snacks for youth in San Mateo County, specifically, visit shfb.org/getfood and click on “San Mateo County Summer Meals.”
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