North Central News

Free summer food for kids

For many struggling families, summertime poses a critical health issue for their children. During the school year, children from low-income families receive free breakfast and lunch while at school. But during the summer, many of those children face the risk of going hungry each day.

In Arizona, only 11 percent of school children who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year currently participate in summer meal programs. These free programs are available to kids and teens age 18 and under at dozens of summer meals sites across the Valley. Sites are registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are held at safe local places such as schools, churches and community centers.

Several North Central school districts, as well as three area library branches and one community center, are offering free meals for kids during the summertime. For more details, see the information below.

Libraries:
The Acacia Branch Library, 750 E. Townley Ave., operates a Kids Café with free meals for youth ages 18 and younger. Meals are available Tuesday through Saturday from 12-1 p.m. Free activities take place after the meal. Quantities may be limited and are first come, first served; meals must be consumed on site. The program runs through Aug. 5.

The Century Branch Library, 1750 E. Highland Ave., operates a Kids Café with free meals for youth ages 18 and younger. Meals are available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday beginning at noon, and Fridays at 12:30 p.m. Quantities may be limited and are first come, first served; meals must be consumed on site.

The Yucca Branch Library, 5648 N. 15th Ave., near the Spectrum Chris-Town Mall, also offers an ongoing Kids Café program. The free meals for youth ages 18 and younger are available Tuesday-Friday from 4-4:45 p.m. and Saturdays from 3-3:45 p.m. Quantities are limited and are distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Schools:
The Glendale Union High School District offers free breakfasts and lunches for any child age 18 and younger this summer at Washington High School, 2217 W. Glendale Ave. The program is from June 5 to July 13 (closed July 4). Breakfast will be served 7-8 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Visit www.guhsdaz.org for more details.

The Phoenix Union High School District, along with other agencies, will provide breakfast and lunch for needy children 18 years of age and younger at nine high schools, Monday through Thursday, through June 29. Participating schools include: Central, 4525 N. Central Ave.; Metro Tech, 1900 W. Thomas Road; and North, 1101 E. Thomas Road. Food will be prepared, as it is during the regular school year, at each location in the school cafeteria. Breakfast will be served from 7:15 to 8 a.m., with lunch being served from 10:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Adults are welcome to accompany children and can purchase breakfast for $2 and lunch for $3.

Solano Elementary, part of the Osborn Elementary School District, will offer meals for children ages 18 and younger without charge during the week, from June 5-30. The school is located at 1526 W. Missouri Ave. Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria from 7 to 8 a.m., and lunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You do not need to be enrolled in the school district to participate in the program.

The Torah Day School of Phoenix, 1118 W. Glendale Ave., offers breakfast from 9:15-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 20-July 27. The free meals for youth age 18 and younger will be served in the back building; enter under the sign that says Torah Day School of Phoenix. Open to the public.

The Washington Elementary School District also provides a summer meal program for children ages 1 to 18 at all of its campuses, dates and times vary. In the North Central community, those campuses, dates and times include:
• Desert View Elementary, 8621 N. 3rd St., Monday-Thursday, through June 15. Breakfast is served 7-7:30 a.m., and lunch is available 10:30-11 a.m.
• Maryland Elementary, 6503 N. 21st Ave., Monday-Thursday through June 15. Breakfast is served 8:30-9 a.m., and lunch is available 12-12:30 p.m.
• Mountain View School, 801 W. Peoria Ave., Monday-Friday through July 28 (closed July 4). Breakfast is served 7-7:30 a.m., and lunch is available 10:30-11 a.m.
• Orangewood School, 7337 N. 19th Ave., Monday-Friday, through July 28 (closed July 4). Breakfast is served 7:45-8:45 a.m., and lunch is available 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
• Royal Palm Middle School, 8520 N. 19th Ave., Monday-Thursday through June 15. Breakfast is served 7:45-8:15 a.m., and lunch is available 11:15-11:45 a.m.
• Sunnyslope Elementary, 245 E. Mountain View Road, Monday-Thursday through June 15. Breakfast is served 7-7:30 a.m., and lunch is available 10:30-11 a.m.

Community Centers
The Longview Recreation Center, 4040 N. 14th St., provides a free lunch for children ages 1 to 18 from 9:30 to 10 a.m., as well as lunch from 12-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from June 5 to Aug. 4. The center will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave., provides a free lunch for children ages 1 to 18 from 9:30 to 10 a.m., as well as lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, from June 5 to Aug. 4. The center will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Washington Activity Center, 2240 W. Citrus Way, provides a free lunch for children ages 1 to 18 from 11 to 11:30 a.m., as well as an afternoon snack from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from June 5 to Aug. 4. The center will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday.

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