The Coast News Group
Feeding San Diego provides meals during an afterschool camp program. Photo by Amanda Schroeder.

Free meals for kids this summer

REGION — Feeding San Diego, a regional food rescue nonprofit, is providing free meals to kids at sites across San Diego County this summer, including several locations in North County.

Established in 2007, Feeding San Diego is the leading hunger-relief and food rescue organization in San Diego County and the only Feeding America affiliate in the region. Each year, the organization provides more than 35 million meals to children, families, seniors, college students, military families and veterans in partnership with a network of 370 local charities, schools, faith communities, meal sites and food pantries.

Nearly 70% of the food provided to the community is rescued from local and national food donors. By diverting nearly 28 million pounds of high-quality food from the landfill every year, Feeding San Diego protects people and the planet.

At the 28 youth meal sites hosted by Feeding San Diego this summer, children under the age of 18 can receive a free breakfast, lunch, and/or snack daily.

Children must eat meals on site and cannot take the meals home or have parents or a guardian pick up for them, with exception of some rural sites. Meals are served on a first come basis and may be hot or cold.

The meal site locations are part of the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded, state administered program from the United States Department of Agriculture that allows program operators to serve no-cost, healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas. The SFSP program provides youth vital food assistance during the summer months when they may not have access to school meals.

North County sites offering free meals that are open to the public include:

  • John Landes Community Library: 2855 Cedar Road, Oceanside, Monday through Friday from June 19 to Aug. 11, lunch 12 to 1 p.m.
  • Oceanside Public Library: 330 N. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, Monday through Friday from June 19 to Aug. 11, lunch from 11 to 11:45 a.m. and snack from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Pro Kids Oceanside: 821 Douglas Drive, Oceanside, Monday through Friday from June 20 to Aug. 4, breakfast from 10 to 11 a.m. and lunch from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Vista Library: 700 Eucalyptus Ave., Vista, Tuesday through Thursday from June 13 to July 27, lunch from 12 to 1 p.m.

Feeding San Diego also encourages families to text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to find sites that provide free summer meals. Alternatively, families can dial 2-1-1 to be connected to 211 San Diego, a source for access to community, health, social and disaster services.