Summer Free Food Program Begins - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Summer Free Food Program Begins

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Now that school is out, who feeds the needy kids who depend on a good lunch?

On a brisk, otherwise perfect day at Reno’s Pat Baker Park, 8-year old Daniel has one thing on his mind: “A sandwich!”

Most any kid will tell you they were looking forward to summer vacation. 7-year old Nayeli told us, "I like to go to Traner pool and be with my mom." 9-year old Jamie said, "I can play with my toys and get wet and play soccer." But adults like Yvonne Vasquez were dreading it. To unemployed folks like herself, it's a challenge adding lunches to so many expenses. She ran off the bills she faces every month: "Lights, gas, rent, then there's gas for the car, insurance..."

She's certainly not alone. In Washoe County schools, 47% are on free lunch programs…that’s about 28,000 students. And that’s where the trucks come in. Stuffed with food, they take the place of the cafeteria and feed every kid in need at many parks and community centers. It’s a special summer program, and we witnessed how it works to feed thousands of local children for free.

Yes, despite the end of the school, there's still a good lunch to be had. Some need it more than others. Jocelyn Lantrip of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada told us about “This little girl who got her lunch and she was just ripping it open as fast as she could, and I could tell she was really hungry, and so I thought that's why we're doing this every day."

Thousands of summer lunches will be given out this year, at over 50 locations. Lantrip said, "We added about 10 this year, so we're really trying to offer more places for kids to come and eat."

The food comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, operating under the premise that hungry kids in the summer…is just unacceptable. Any child 18 and under can partake no matter what the income level, and there are no other requirements. City of Reno recreation supervisor Alan Roney said, "We don't do any qualifications. You come, you're hungry, we feed you."

Come out, eat and just be a kid, like 7-year old Nayeli...who we caught in summer vacation heaven. If she was going to make the ideal sandwich, it would be just like the one the city crew gave her in the park, "Because it’s a cheese and ham, it’s my favorite."

-written by John Potter

We have a full list of locations and times for the free summer lunches below. Just click the link…
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