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All Kids in Riverside to Receive Free Summer Meals Following ‘Summerfest’ Kick Off

Riverside Food

Parents can text ‘food’ or ‘comida’ to 877-877 to find out where to pick up a free lunch

Riverside, Calif. — Children’s summer fun often can be stifled by hunger or poor nutrition in households that rely on the National School Lunch Program during the school year.

To solve this problem, a coalition of education and health providers will begin offering tens-of-thousands of free, delicious meals to all Riverside children and teens 18 and younger all summer long.

On June 12, Riverside and Alvord Unified School Districts—along with the Center for Ecoliteracy, the City of Riverside and more—hosted a Summerfest lunch celebration at Don Jones Park to kick off this season of nutritious free meals.

At the Summerfest, children enjoyed a free picnic lunch at the park featuring fresh BBQ, roasted corn, fresh fruits and California-grown vegetables. The event also offered engaging games, activities, presentations hosted by local community organizations and special guests, including Riverside Unified School Board President Dr. Angelov Farooq.

“With this campaign, we aim to give all children ages 18 and younger access to free, healthy meals all summer long,” said Leyla Marandi with the Center for Ecoliteracy. “Children will be able to go to 40 locations in Riverside and Alvord School Districts, including parks, libraries and some schools.”

The message of the day? All kids, regardless of parent’s income or status, can access a free summer meal at various locations across Riverside.

How? By visiting, texting ‘FOOD’ or ‘COMIDA’ to 877-877, or downloading a handy app. Riverside Unified parents can also download a full printable schedule here. Alvord parents can do so  here.

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