Kids enjoy free summer meals

06/27/2017

By Sue Cody

Summer meals 2 FBIt’s noon on a drizzly summer day, and kids come in droves for free lunch at Warrenton Grade School (WGS). The chatter is loud as kids munch on ham and cheese hoagies, grapes, apples, potato salad, milk and Goldfish crackers.


On the first day, Warrenton served 97 children a free lunch. The grade school is one of three sites in Warrenton where the Oregon Summer Meals program is offered.

 

Sites in Astoria and Seaside open Monday, June 26.

 

Stephanie Davis, food service manager for the Warrenton-Hammond School District, runs the summer meal program, open to all kids ages 1 to 18.

 

Summer meals 1 FB“It is very beneficial for kids who need a meal,” Davis says. Kids can walk or bike to lunch at the grade school, the old Hammond Library or the new Warrenton Library.

 

“It is an awesome program,” says Amanada Oseguera, an employee who serves lunch. “I wish more people utilized it.”

 

“A lot of people struggle to access nutritious food,” says Cheyanne Mahron, who brought eight kids for lunch. “There is no grocery store in Hammond, so having three meal sites is wonderful for the community. It’s nice they have a safe place to go.”

 

More than 600 sites statewide host free meals. The Summer Food Service Program was approved by Congress in 1968 to serve low-income children during the summer. Funded by federal and state governments, more than 2 million meals were served in Oregon last year.

 

Summer meals 4 fb “In the beginning, only cold sandwiches were on the menu,” Davis says. “But with the kitchen, more hot items, like hamburgers or chicken sandwiches, can be served. Kids can see the menu and come on days they really like. They can make new friends or see friends from school.”

 

A stream of young children files into the cafeteria from Warrenton Prep, a daycare facility located at WGS. It serves children from age 3 through fifth grade. “These meals fill community gaps,” says Michelle DeVos, who is manager of Warrenton Prep.

Summer meals 3 FBMany summer meal sites offer other activities, as well. The Launch Pad program begins June 27 at the WGS Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The summer enrichment program engages kids in reading, math and fun activities. “It’s only $10 for the whole summer,” Mahron says. “The kids are here and they get a free lunch. It is magnificent for them.”


Older kids watching siblings get a break because they don’t have to prepare a meal, Davis says. “The kids are happy. We get a lot of thanks.”

 

 

Summer meals menu Warrenton 1Clatsop County free meal sites

All sites are closed July 4. Sites occasionally go on field trips. Please contact sites directly for dates and times of field trips.

 




ASTORIA

Astor Elementary

3550 Franklin Ave (503) 325-4177

June 26-Aug. 18

Site closed July 28 –Aug. 11

Breakfast: 8:30 to 9 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays

Lunch 11:30 to noon Mondays through Thursdays

 

Astoria Parks & Recreation Day Camp

1555 W. Marine Drive, (503) 325-4177

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday

 

Emerald Heights

2-12 McCain Road, (503) 325-4177

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday

June 26-Aug. 25

 

Gateway II Apartments

1850 Marine Drive, (503) 325-4177

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday

 

Peter Pan Park

Sixth Street and Niagara Avenue (503) 325-4177

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday

 

Tapiola Park

900 W. Marine Drive, (503) 325-4177

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday

 

WARRENTON

Warrenton Grade School

820 S.W. Cedar Ave., (503) 861-2281

June 19-Sept. 1

Lunch 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday

 

Warrenton Library

160 S. Main Ave., (503) 861-2281

June 19-Aug. 18

Lunch 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday

 

Old Hammond Library

861 Pacific Drive

June 19-Aug. 18

Lunch 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday

 

SEASIDE

Broadway Middle School

1120 Broadway, (503) 738-5591

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday

Site closed July 3 and 4

 

Seaside Heights Elementary

2000 Spruce Drive, (503) 738-5591

June 26-Aug. 25

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday