Share kicks off summer meals program for children and teens

Share kicked off its Summer Meals program on June 20, to help provide free meals to all children and teens age 18 and younger throughout the summer. The program will operate at 13 Vancouver-area locations through Aug. 12.

“The goal of Share’s Summer Meals program is to provide support to families when school doors are closed, by providing a safe place for children to socialize and get a healthy meal,” said Becci Read-Ryan, Share’s meal and nutrition programs manager. “Nutrition is so important to overall wellness and quality of life. We strive to reduce barriers to food and give underserved populations the opportunity to access food they want to eat and food that will help them succeed.”

All meals sites, including dates and time during which meals will be served, can be viewed at sharevancouver.org/summer-meals-program; program information is also available in Spanish. 

Meals must be eaten on site; no paperwork is needed and no personal information is collected. No meals will be provided at any site location on July 4, in recognition of the national Independence Day holiday. 

Share needs volunteers to prepare and deliver meals. To sign up for a volunteer shift, visit sharevancouver.org/volunteer/summer-meals-program-volunteer/ or contact Molly Evjen at mevjen@sharevancouver.org. Volunteers must be 12 years or older to volunteer in a commercial kitchen. Volunteers younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Summer Meals is a federally funded, state-administered program that reimburses providers who serve free healthy meals to children and teens when school is not in session. No paperwork is required to receive meals and Share does not collect personal information.

Founded in 1979, Share operates four shelters for those experiencing homelessness, an Affordable Housing and Stability program, Lincoln Place (a 30-unit Housing First model apartment complex), a street outreach program, a Housing & Essential Needs (HEN) program, Rent Well (a tenant education program), and Hot Meals, a daily meal program (breakfast, lunch and dinner) which is free and open to the community. Share also operates a backpack program in partnership with 84 local schools to provide weekly food bags to more than 850 children and their families, as well as to distribute more than 25 weekly pantry boxes and operate 18 fresh food pantries. For more information, visit sharevancouver.org or facebook.com/ShareVancouver.