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Where to find free meals for children this summer at LA’s schools and other sites

Esmeralda Fabián Romero | June 26, 2017

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Kindergartners Jacob Silva and Kelvin Xajpot Chuta give a thumbs-up to the hot supper offerings at Belvedere Elementary School. (Courtesy: LAUSD)


Regular classes are on break for the summer, but meals are still being served at 300 LA Unified schools until July 28.

The schools will offer free breakfast, lunch, and snacks to all youth ages 1 to 18. LA Unified is also partnering with the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Recreation and Parks to serve food to kids in over 100 locations throughout the city.

According to No Kid Hungry, a national advocacy organization to end food insecurity, the summer months are when children are at a higher risk of hunger. Six out of seven low-income youths who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the academic year do not get a free meal during the summer.

“We have found that, for a number of students, the meals they get at school are the only meals they eat for the day. As such, they often go hungry during vacations,” Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, CEO of the district’s Office of Educational Services, said in a news release.

“This summer, youngsters will get nutritious meals at no charge at 429 locations throughout the city. Our students will not have to experience hunger and food insecurity while on vacation, and they will be nourished and ready to learn when they go back to school.”

LA Unified is also partnering with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles to provide meals at select locations through its “Get Summer” initiative.

“We are continually concerned that our students have good nutrition during the summer months and we are continuing to work with community groups with breakfast, lunch, and supper programs,” said Joseph Vaughn, the new food services director at LA Unified.

Most of the schools will be serving food until July 28, although the program may be extended at some sites. The new school year for LA Unified begins Aug. 15. The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the California Department of Education.

A list of all school sites offering free food for kids with times, dates, and address can be found here. Also, here is a link to a map where other sites are offering free meals.

* This article has been corrected to state that all youth ages 1 to 18 are eligible for the free meals at participating LA Unified schools this summer. 

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