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California Schools Provide Free Meals for Kids All Summer Long

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STOCKTON -- At Creekside Elementary School in Stockton, school is out for the summer, but lunch is still served daily for free.

“It just really makes it easier to know he's getting nutritious meals during the summer,” said parent Edith Malbrough.

Malbrough brings her 3-year-old son for lunch there whenever she can.

For most families, including Malbrough, grocery bills can get steep over the summer when the kids are home.

“Food costs are always rising and when kids are home more, it's hot more, they want to eat and drink more,” Malbrough told FOX40. “So, it gets hard. So, it's helpful to have these programs.”

The program is funded by the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture.

Creekside is one of hundreds of schools statewide providing free meals for kids of all ages all summer long.

“When we first started I think we were doing 25, 35 kids and now we're at 75. Some days it's more,” said Lodi Unified School District Food Service Supervisor Renee Sanchez.

Sanchez said LUSD operates 16 different location across Stockton and Lodi, serving up almost 3,000 meals daily.

“I love this program. It is very important to our communities, as well as our students, because a lot of these kids don't eat three meals a day when school’s not in session,” she explained. “Sometimes we’re their only source of nutrition during a regular school day. Our program during the school year feeds breakfast, lunch, snack and supper.”

You can use your phone to find the nearest locations to you. Just text "food" or "comida" to 877-877 then text your zip code. You’ll get a reply with a list of locations, times and dates where you can go to get a free meal for any kid.

The following links include more information on all the locations offering free meals to kids:

Lodi Unified School District
Stockton Unified School District
Modesto City Schools
Sacramento City Unified School District

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