BOISE, Idaho — Now that school is out for summer, many families struggle with food insecurity.
The Idaho Foodbank estimates that nearly 70,000 children in Idaho rely on free and reduced-price lunches and breakfast during the school year.
To help those families, community organizations around the state are stepping up to help feed these vulnerable kids during the summer
At Winstead Park in Boise Monday morning, the summer feeding program - Picnic in the Park - got underway.
The program offers free lunches to children ages 1-18 at 18 locations in the Boise-metro area
"No child should have to experience food insecurity," said Karen Vauk, President, and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. "Picnic in the Park is a great example of what can be done for our community when stakeholders work together to help solve hunger. It's an honor to help lead this effort."
The Idaho Foodbank was joined representatives from the City of Boise, Idaho State Department of Education, Corporation for National and Community Service AmeriCorps VISTA, Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise School District, and Boise Co-Op to launch Picnic in the Park 2019.
From June 3 to August 9, Monday through Friday, Picnic in the Park has a goal of providing more than 36,000 free meals to food-insecure children in the Boise area. In addition to offering free meals, the sites will have organized activities and games at various locations.
People interested in participating in Picnic in the Park can text "food" to 877-877 to find the nearest location. Spanish speakers can text "comida" to the same number for information in Spanish.
Parents can also get a meal at the site for a low cost.