|REFB set to kick off “Hunger-Free Summer” June 2
From June 2 through Aug. 8, the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) will be offering 30,000 low-income children a healthy lunch and fun summer activities at 48 “Hunger-Free Summer” sites throughout Sonoma County.
Now in its 11th year, the REFB’s ConAgra Foundation Hunger-Free Summer Program provides a nutritious meal to thousands of children who depend on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, and miss these meals during summer vacation.
When the program was launched in 2004, 20,000 children were eligible. This year the number has risen to 30,000 children. In spite of a better economy, more families at the lower end of the wage scale still struggle to feed their children and families, turning to the REFB for help.
“There is an increased risk of hunger during summer months when school is out of session. Summer Lunch is the REFB’s direct response to ensure that local children have access to healthy meals. Obtaining a meal is easy. No paperwork or sign up is required, and the program serves any child 18 years of age and under,” explains Itzul Gutierrez, Programs Manager.
More than a hundred volunteers are needed to help at the 42 lunch sites to serve meals and oversee fun educational activities.
Garden based nutrition activities introduce children to vegetable gardening and the benefits of eating healthy and fresh food. Recreational activities will be offered at some sites.
For the Rohnert Park/Cotati area, meals will be served at:
• Alicia Park, 300 Arlen Dr., Rohnert Park, June 2-Aug. 8 (Monday through Friday), 12:30-1 p.m.
• Rohnert Park Boys & Girls Club, 7450 Santa Barbara Dr., Rohnert Park, June 2-Aug. 1 (Monday-Friday), 12:15-1 p.m.
• Rancho Feliz, 6607 Redwood Dr., Rohnert Park, June 2-Aug. 8 (Monday through Friday), 12:30-1:30 p.m.
• Tower Apartments, 781 E. Cotati Ave., June 2-Aug. 8 (Monday through Friday), 12:30-1:30 p.m.
• Rohnert Park Boys & Girls Club, 7450 Santa Barbara Dr., Rohnert Park, June 3-Aug. 1 (Monday through Friday), 8-8:30 a.m.
To volunteer and learn more about Summer Lunch, contact Vanessa Wallace, REFB Community Programs Coordinator, at 523-7900, ext. 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer signup deadline is June 7. To find a “Hunger-Free Summer” lunch site, call the 2-1-1 Sonoma County Resource Directory line, the REFB at 523-7900 or visit www.refb.org. Sites and times are subject to change.