Some harsh reality, on a beautiful sunny day at Pat Baker Park. 5-year old Israel Zuniga isn't here just to play. He's here for..."A sandwich!"
Summer is supposed to mean playing on the slide or the swings. Sadly, the priority for his older brother Ramon is getting food from the city. Ramon's parents have a hard time affording food. "Yeah, especially right now because we have family problems."
There was a much bigger turnout at the Evelyn Mount Community Center. About 50 lined up for lunch. 13-year old Amanda was sent there by her mom, "Because, I need to eat."
Amanda is certainly not alone. More than half of the students in some Washoe County schools get free or reduced lunches. This program operates under the premise that a hungry kid in the summer is just unacceptable. The cook for the center, Shannon Lambert, told us, "It gets me kind of emotional. But I just feel like, if they have a meal to come to, then they have something to come to. There are kids that miss meals."
No one's turned away at these stops. The food meets nutritional guidelines, and is available to babies, and kids up to age 18. Shannon knows many kids would miss out on lunch, if it weren't for this. "I feel it's very dire. I know that there's tons of children that need to know the program is here."
If you're a parent who needs the summer food program for your kids, you don't need paperwork. Any less fortunate child is invited to enjoy free lunch. For a list of locations and times, just click this link: