During the school year many children rely on free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches provided by the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs. But what happens when school is out? The Idaho Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program provides nutritious lunches for food-insecure children during the summer months when the school lunches they depend on are unavailable. The program helps fill that nutritional gap and provides children with the food they need to be ready to go back to school. For the fifteenth summer in a row, The Idaho Foodbank provided free weekday lunches to children ages 1-18 by taking meals directly to low-income neighborhoods and parks.
In the summer of 2013, Picnic in the Park comprised of eight delivery routes, and 35 part-time employees (including 10 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates) and served at 24 locations for 49 days. Valuable support from public sources and generous private donors made it possible for the Foodbank to provide 54,442 nutritious lunches. Along with the meals, children enjoyed learning opportunities, physical activities and nutritional education information.