Summer food program returns

Free meals help fill in the gap during summer vacation

Local kids in need of a summer lunch have choices in Camas and Washougal.

For the eighth year the Washougal School District is offering a summer food service program. It runs through Friday, July 29.

Free hot lunches and sack lunches will be offered for children ages 18 and younger.

This is a USDA program that many communities offer to ensure that children who might otherwise go hungry, have access to a lunch during the summer months.

Last year 2,895 meals were served, according to Mark Jasper, nutrition services director.

Meals are served at Jemtegaard Middle School, 35300 S.E. Evergreen Highway.

Breakfast is served from 8:25 a.m. to 8:40 a.m., and lunch isserved from noon to 12:45 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

“I’ve been serving on the line and it’s been a real joy to see the kids smiling and so exited about having lunch,” Jasper said. “I’m a stickler about noticing manners and I’m so impressed with these kids. They have been exceptional in their manners and make me proud.”

Meals include the five food groups for children to choose from, which are meat, grain, fruit, vegetables and milk. Typical entrees include turkey and cheese sandwiches, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and classic pizza.

“We do our best on buying local with the items we serve,” Jasper said.

He added that parents have appreciated the program for the children and have also been able to eat lunch, due to donations from local churches.

“The local churches have come together and pulled their resources to sponsor all of the adult meal costs,” Jasper said. “We are so thankful for their community support and it creates such a great atmosphere with the parents and children eating together.”

Camas Friends Church is also offering free summer meals for children ages 18 and younger. The lunches are available in the church community area, 1004 N.E. Fourth Ave., from noon to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, through Friday, Sept. 2.

The meals are provided through SHARE of Vancouver, a non-profit organization that serves Clark County.