Organizations Team Up For Picnic In The Park 2017

Empty school playgrounds, classrooms and hallways signal the official start of summer. Unfortunately for the 76,000 food-insecure kids in Idaho, this means the absence of free and reduced-price lunches as well. For families who rely on this program during the school year, summer can be a time of added burden and uncertainty. Luckily, organizations are stepping up to keep children fed during the summer months.

On Monday, June 5th, The Idaho Foodbank was joined by representatives from the City of Boise, Idaho State Department of Education, CNCS – AmeriCorps VISTA, United States Department of Agriculture, Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise School District and Idaho Commission for Libraries in launching Picnic in the Park 2017. Monday through Friday, from June 5 to  August 11, Picnic in the Park has a goal of providing more than 51,000 free meals to food-insecure children one to 18 years of age living in the Boise-metro area. The program goes hand-in-hand with efforts by charitable organizations around the state which provide meals for children who are in need.

On Monday, June 5th, The Idaho Foodbank was joined by representatives from the City of Boise, Idaho State Department of Education, CNCS – AmeriCorps VISTA, United States Department of Agriculture, Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise School District and Idaho Commission for Libraries in launching Picnic in the Park 2017. Monday through Friday, from June 5 to  August 11, Picnic in the Park has a goal of providing more than 51,000 free meals to food-insecure children one to 18 years of age living in the Boise-metro area. The program goes hand-in-hand with efforts by charitable organizations around the state which provide meals for children who are in need.

“Summer break should be fun and exciting for students; however, that might not be the case for many because of hunger,” said Sherri Ybarra, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction. “That is why I want to thank all of the partnering organizations that make it possible to extend the feeding program into the summer months, as this program truly makes a positive impact across the state to provide our students with nutritious meals.”

The Idaho Foodbank is operating 25 sites in the Boise area in 2017, offering free meals as well as physical activities, reading opportunities and games at their locations. People interested in participating in Picnic in the Park can text “food” to 877-877 to find the nearest location. Spanish speakers can text “comida” to the same number for information in Spanish. Parents can also get a meal at the site for a low cost.

“No child should have to endure the pressures and burdens that come with enduring food insecurity ,” said Karen Vauk, President, and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. “Picnic in the Park is a great example of what can be done for our community when stakeholders work together to help solve hunger. It’s an honor to help lead this effort.”

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