For the 39th year in a row, the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) will offer the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for children and youth. The SFSP continues the free lunch programs offered during the school year by Long Beach Unified School District, and can make the summer school break a healthy and fun experience.
“The Summer Food Service Program helps to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Thanks to the staff at Parks, Recreation and Marine, our youth will be served at 29 locations throughout Long Beach.”
The City of Long Beach PRM will coordinate the SFSP for children and youth, Monday through Friday, from today, June 18, 2018 through August 17, 2018. There will be no service on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Free meals will be available to all attending children and youth who are one to 18-years-old. Infant meals will not be served. Those interested can view program locations, hours and menus at:http://www.longbeach.gov/park/recreation-programs/programs-and-classes/youth-and-teen-programs/usda-summer-food-program/
The 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 typically do not have access to these meals during school breaks. However, through the SFSP, 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, serving 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.
PRM encourages parents, school administrators, and community organizations to help increase awareness of the program and ensure that qualified communities are being served. The program has a lot of opportunity to reach many more children who qualify. Although millions of children nationwide depend on nutritious free and reduced-price meals and snacks during the school year, only a small percentage are taking advantage of the program during the summer, often because parents are not aware it is still available to their children.
The community can access information about USDA civil rights regulations and policies regarding the SFSP, as well as find contact information for the USDA by visiting https://bit.ly/2LRRrn8.
About Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine
Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department (PRM) is recognized for excellence in management practices and programs, having received the National Parks and Recreation Association Gold Medal Award four times. PRM provides leisure programs and services to residents and visitors, which improve quality of life in Long Beach. PRM maintains 171 parks with 26 community centers, 320 acres of open space, and 6.1 miles of beaches; implements the City's Open Space Plan, provides recreational opportunities to meet diverse community needs, maintains public marinas, and provides for public safety and the humane treatment of animals.
For more information about Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine programs and services, visit www.lbparks.org. Please “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LongBeachParks.