In the News

School May be Out, But Lunch Is In at Picnic in Park Program For Kids

Originally posted on Noozhawk

For kids who depend on school meals for daily nutrition, the Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program will offer free lunches to kids 18 and under Monday-Friday, June 10-Aug. 16, at 17 locations countywide while schools are closed for the summer.

Lunches are served on a first-come, first-served basis as part of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. There are no income requirements to participate. All children are encouraged to attend.

Each program site — located in accessible parks, libraries, low-income housing and neighborhood centers — is managed by volunteers and groups who serve lunch, conduct nutrition education, and lead summer games.

The Foodbank is working this year with Santa Barbara Unified School (SBUSD) District Food Services to provide fresh, plant-rich lunches prepared from scratch with local ingredients to children at all Picnic in the Park sites countywide.

“With our focus on fresh ingredients prepared with love, and the Foodbank’s commitment to providing nutritious food to all who need it, we can make the greatest possible impact on children’s health countywide,” said Nancy Weiss, director of food services for SBUSD.

To help provide meals to children facing hunger during the summer, individuals may donate or sign up to volunteer at: www.FoodbankSBC.org.

Foodbank Picnic in the Park sites are included in the text SUMMERFOOD to 877-877 program, through which anyone can input their city or ZIP code and receive information about the nearest lunch program.

Picnic in the Park sites in the South County include:

Jardin de las Rosas, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 510 N. Salsipuedes St., Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Public Library, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 40 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.
Positano Apartments, noon-1 p.m., 11 Camino De Vida, Santa Barbara.
Jonny D. Wallis Neighborhood Park, 12:30–1:30 p.m., 170 S. Kellogg Ave., Goleta.
Casas de Los Carneros, 1-2 p.m., 10 Longshore Place, Goleta.
Carpinteria Public Library, noon-1 p.m., 5141 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria.

Picnic in the Park sites in the North County include:

Veterans Memorial Park, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 313 W. Tunnell St., Santa Maria.
Rice Park, 11a.m.-noon, 700 E. Sunset Ave., Santa Maria.
Minami Park, 11 a.m.-noon, 600 W. Enos Dr., Santa Maria.
Los Adobes de Maria 1, noon-1 p.m., 1026 W. Boone Ave., Santa Maria.
Grogan Park, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., 1155 W. Rancho Verde, Santa Maria.
Tunnell Park, 12:30-1:30 p.m., 1100 N. Palisade Dr., Santa Maria.
College Park Apartments, 12:30-1:30 p.m. 648 N. G St., Lompoc.
Palm Grove, 1:15-2:15 p.m., 31 Palm Drive, Lompoc.
Ranch Acres, 12:45-1:45 p.m., 1050 Escalante Drive, Guadalupe.
River View Townhomes, 1-2 p.m., 220 Calle Cesar E. Chavez, Guadalupe.
Los Alamos Park, noon-1 p.m., 500 Drum Canyon Road, Los Alamos (Monday-Thursday only, July 1-Aug. 2).

Lunches will only be served Monday through Thursday at Jardin de las Rosas in Santa Barbara and at Los Alamos County Park. Additionally, lunches at Los Alamos Park will only be served July 1-Aug. 2.

All other locations will serve lunches Monday through Friday and, except for Los Alamos Park, all other locations will serve lunches from June 10-Aug. 16.

In partnership with Santa Maria Recreation and Parks, Picnic in the Park features organized fitness and outdoor play at north county parks.

The Foodbank relies on community volunteers and groups to manage and support individual park sites, hand out lunches, organize food literacy training and summer games.

The Foodbank is seeking volunteers in both North and South counties to help manage the 17 lunch sites, June 10-Aug. 16. Ideal site volunteers are:

Able to commit (individuals or organizations) to at least one two-hour lunch shift per week or for a week of lunches at a time (ex: come every Wednesday or pick a week and come Monday-Friday) to provide continuity.

Available for about two hours, start to finish, during lunchtime on weekdays during the summer.

Willing to undergo a brief criminal background check and able to complete an online training prior to their first shift.

Individuals interested in volunteering can visit https://foodbanksbc.org/give-help/volunteer/.

Groups interested in volunteering for Picnic in the Park, contact Lisa Skvarla at lskvarla@foodbanksbc.org or 805-403-2471.

The Foodbank partners with the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County, People’s Self-Help Housing, Santa Barbara Unified School District, City of Goleta, Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, Los Alamos Foundation, Santa Barbara Public Library and other groups ensure children in Santa Barbara County have access to healthy meals throughout the summer.

Picnic in the Park is sponsored by Karl Storz – Endoskope, Save Mart Supermarkets, Flir, Crown Point Vineyards, Chevron, Camp Design, Noozhawk, KEYT News Channel 3/KCOY/KKFX, and hundreds of individual donors.

For more about Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.