Schools fight summer hunger with free meal programs for kids

School districts across Oregon are fighting summer hunger with free meal programs for kids.

Many families struggle with food insecurity when schools are out over the summer. For these families, both schools and other local programs provide vital resources over the summer months.

Alisha Dodds is Community Relations and Communications Director at Bethel School District.

“We know that summertime can be stressful for families who depend on school meals as part of their day, and we want to be making sure that students and children in the area are fed breakfast and lunch as much as possible,” she said. “So we try to make our program as accessible as possible.”

kids eating lunch

Bethel’s program starts on June 26 and ends on August 4. Like most school summer meal programs, this leaves gaps in coverage at either end of the summer. Dodds said this is to give the district’s nutritional services staff time to transition between the school year and the summer program.

Additional summer food resources are available through Food for Lane County and to Bethel district families at the Cascade Family Resource Center at Cascade Middle School.

For additional resources, visit, call 2-1-1, or text “food” or “comida” to 304-304.


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By Chrissy Ewald, KLCC