San Diego Summer Fun Cafe Program Expands To Fill Nutrition Gap
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
For nearly a dozen years now the San Diego Unified School District and city parks department have been filling the summer nutrition gap.
One out of every four schoolchildren in San Diego are eligible for the city’s free lunch program, but during the summer these kids lose access to one of the only meals they'll get all day.
Kids at Skyline Park in southeastern San Diego are in the midst of a nutrition decathlon. This race is about getting outdoors, being active and doing something fun and healthy to workup a serious appetite. Brittney McGetrick is a fitness trainer and budding dietician.
“All of the activities are based on a fruit or a vegetable. We have fun facts about fruits and veggies just encouraging the kids to introduce new vegetables into their diet and get to know so their not so scared of them when they see them on their dinner plate,” McGetrick said.
The Summer Fun Café program has expanded to 28 parks, 14 community centers and 19 schools in San Diego. Sandip Kuar is director of nutrition services for the state department of education. She says its all paid for by the federal agriculture department.
“It improves academic scores and it improves our economy because it brings those federal dollars to local farmers, businesses that schools can procure from. So its about taking care of the whole. The whole child and the community,” Kuar said.
Kaur adeeds San Diego Unified is one of the more progressive school districts when it comes to providing creative ideas for children to get nutritious meals.
“So we really appreciate what San Diego does to make sure that San Diego California can serve as a model for the nation."
The program is free for kids 18 and under and no need to sign-up. It serves more than 300,000 lunches every summer. For more information call or go online to 211 San Diego.