BOISE -- The Idaho Foodbank celebrated a summer milestone for one of it's most popular programs Thursday. The Picnic in the Park program has, so far this summer, served more than 32,000 meals, according to organizers.
The program, in its 13th year, gives out free lunches to more than 100 children who regularly come to Boise's Winstead Park.
The lunches are given out Monday through Friday during the summer months.
In addition to promoting healthy eating habits, the program encourages children to participate in physical activities.
Right after lunch they can do activities such as hula hoop, dodgeball, or football to really get their heart rate going and feel good after eating, said Mary Ann Liby, a nutrition specialist with the Idaho Foodbank.
Picnic in the Park is supported by volunteers, including employees from Boise's Old Chicago restaurants, who were on hand at Thursday's event.
In addition to helping families save money on food, the program has a distinct side benefit.
It really gives that safe environment for families to hang out, to spend time with their kids, to enjoy outside, to enjoy the park, said Liby. Yes, it's helpful with the food budget, but then it helps with really creating that relationship between kids and their families.
Organizers hope to serve up to 60,000 meals by the end of the summer.
To find out more about the Picnic in the Park program, click here.