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Donation Heart Ribbon

Summer Lunch Program For Local Families

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Video Transcript:

FOOD BANKS ACROSS CALIFORNIA HAVE SEEN A DRAMATIC RISE IN NEED. THERE'S A LOCAL PROGRAM FOR KIDS THIS SUMMER. FREE LUNCHES ARE OFFERED AS HAVE BEEN FOR THE LAST SEVEN YEARS. TELL US ABOUT THE PROGRAM, HOW OFTEN AND WHERE? SURE, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS SERVING LUNCH MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY THROUGH AUGUST 27TH. AND UM, ANY CHILD 2 TO 18 YEARS OLD. BEING SERVED ABOUT 50 PLUS LOCATIONS AROUND THE CITY AND SOME OF THOSE ARE AT SCHOOLS HOSTING UH, SUMMER CLASSES AND SOME OF THEM ARE IN PARKS OR OTHER COMMUNITY LOCATIONS LIKE YMCAS. THE SCHEDULES SORT OF VARY, DEPENDING ON THE LOCATION. ALL OF THE LOCATION AND TIME INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND PARKS DEPARTMENT WEBSITES. OKAY, SO THIS IS FOR CHILDREN, BUT AS I UNDERSTAND UH, PARENTS CAN EAT THERE AS WELL. ON MOST DAYS IT'S ONLY FOR THE KIDS, BUT AT THE LOCATIONS IN THE PARKS WHICH ARE BEING CALLED SUMMER FUN CAFES, WHICH THERE ARE ABOUT 25 OR SO, EACH IS HOSTING SPECIAL EVENTS. SPECIAL EVENT DAYS, A BARBECUE AND MEXICAN SIESTA, PARENTS CAN EAT WITH THEIR KIDS FOR $2 PER ADULT. WHAT HAS THE PARTICIPATION RATE BEEN LIKE THIS SUMMER? IS IT UP FROM LAST SUMMER? SURE, LAST SUMMER, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SERVED ABOUT 250,000 LUNCHES. WHEN I SPOKE WITH JOANNE TUCKER WHO RUNS THE PROGRAM FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, SHE SAID SINCE THEY STARTED SERVING LUNCH ON JUNE 24TH, SHE'S SEEN A SMALL UPTICK OVER LAST YEAR, BUT THE PROGRAM DOESN'T TAKE OFF UNTIL LATER IN JULY WHEN THE YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLS BEGIN TO GET OUT. BUT LAST YEAR THEY DID SEE SOMETHING LIKE AN 83% INCREASE OVER 2008. SO YOU KNOW, THE NUMBER OF KIDS THAT THEY'RE SERVING HAS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS. OKAY, WHAT IS THE SENSE OF HOW MANY OF THE KIDS WHO RECEIVED FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR, UM, ARE BEING REACHED WITH THIS PROGRAM? WELL, BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS OPEN TO ANY CHILD, THEY'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT SPECIFICALLY WHO IS GETTING LUNCH EVERY DAY AT THE PARKS, BUT A STUDY OF WHO WAS SERVED LAST YEAR ACROSS CALIFORNIA BY PROGRAMS LIKE THIS, CONCLUDED THAT ABOUT 21% OF KIDS WHO QUALIFIED FOR FREE OR REDUCED PRICE LUNCH DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR ARE GETTING LUNCHES THROUGH PROGRAMS LIKE THESE OVER THE SUMMER. AND UM, THAT PERCENTAGE HAS BEEN DECREASING UH, STEADILY OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, EVEN AS THE NUMBER OF KIDS WHO QUALIFY FOR FREE AND REDUCED PRICE LUNCH INCREASES. IS THERE MUCH OUTREACH HAPPENING THOUGH TO GET TO THE OTHER KIDS WHO MAYBE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT? SAN DIEGO HAS BEEN MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN OTHER PLACES IN THE STATE, BECAUSE OUTSIDE OF SAN DIEGO A LOT OF AREAS RELY SOLELY ON SUMMER SCHOOLS TO OPEN THEIR CAFETERIAS TO KIDS TO PROVIDE THE FREE LUNCHES. IN SAN DIEGO, BECAUSE THEY PARTNERED WITH THE PARKS DEPARTMENT, THEY HAVE LOCATIONS IN THE COMMUNITIES. THE PARKS DEPARTMENT HAS SIGNS UP IN THE PARKS SAYING WHEN LUNCH IS SERVED AND THE PROGRAM GUIDES FOR THOSE PARKS YOU KNOW, HAS THE LUNCH INFORMATION. I THINK THAT THIS PROGRAM'S A LITTLE MORE VISIBLE IN THE COMMUNITIES BECAUSE OF THAT. HOW, HOW ESSENTIAL IS A PROGRAM LIKE THIS? THAT THESE KIDS DIDN'T HAVE THIS OPTION TO EAT LUNCH, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEM? WHAT WOULD THEY BE EATING? PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE I SPOKE WITH, WHO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR RUNNING THE PROGRAM SAID THAT THERE ARE KIDS WHO WERE IT NOT FOR THESE LUNCHES, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE A MEAL THEY COULD COULD YOU --COUNT ON THROUGH THE COURSE OF THE DAY. IN ORDER TO QUALIFY, THE SORT OF HIGHEST CUTOFF IS STILL UH, LESS THAN TWICE THE FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL. SO IF YOU WERE A SINGLE, A SINGLE PARENT SUPPORTING TWO CHILDREN, YOUR INCOME COULDN'T BE HIGHER THAN UM, IT'S ABOUT $33,800 A YEAR FOR YOUR KIDS TO QUALIFY FOR JUST A REDUCED PRICE LUNCH. I THINK IN THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO, YOU'RE GOING TO BE, YOU'RE GOING TO BE CUTTING A LOT OF CORNERS BEFORE YOUR INCOME GETS DOWN TO YOU KNOW, $33,000. SO THESE ARE FAMILIES WHO ARE DEFINITELY AT RISK FOR EXPERIENCING FOOD INSTABILITY. THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE THEIR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM ALL THE TIME. WHAT ARE THEY SERVING AT THE LUNCHES? AT THE SCHOOL LOCATIONS, THEY'RE SERVING UH, HOT ENTRÉE AND UH, A SIDE DISH FROM A SALAD BAR AND THEN IN THE PARKS THEY'RE GETTING SACK LUNCHES, UM, WHICH IS A SANDWICH AND PIECE OF FRUIT AND SMALL SNACK AND CARTON OF MILK. ON SPECIAL EVENT DAYS, THEY HAVE HAMBURGERS AND HOT DOGS DURING THE UH, BARBECUES AND YOU KNOW, HOT MEXICAN ENTRÉE. OKAY, THANK YOU SO MUCH. THANK YOU.

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