Free breakfast, lunch offered at school sites for summer

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Students at R.O. Harden School pick up their lunch in 2012.

When classes end for the summer, those receiving subsidized school breakfasts and lunches may start to feel the pangs of hunger.
That’s why the state is offering free meals to children of low-income families at seven sites in San Benito County this summer.
“Only one in five low-income children who eat subsidized meals during the school year are taking advantage of the summer meal program, meaning a lot of kids are unnecessarily going hungry this summer,” said Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction, in a press release. “I urge families to use this free service so their children will have access to the healthy, fresh food they need to grow, learn, and succeed in school.”
Thousands of organizations across the state have signed up to become Summer Food Service Program meal sites, according to a press release. The federally funded program reimburses sponsors for the administrative and operational costs of providing meals to children 18 years of age and younger during periods when they are out of school for 15 or more consecutive school days.
The sites in San Benito County include Anzar High School and San Juan School in San Juan Bautista, Aromas School in Aromas and several elementary schools in Hollister.
These sites open 15 days after the school year ends. They must be located in areas where at least half the student population comes from low-income families. Families can go to any meal site and their children will receive free meals with no questions asked and no income verification needed, according to the press release. Many sites will offer fun activities for children, explained the same announcement.
Sites offering breakfast and lunch:
Aromas School: 365 Vega St., Aromas; details: Janie Cecena (831) 623-4402
San Juan School: 100 Nyland Drive, San Juan Bautista; details: Janie Cecena (831) 623-4402
Calaveras Elementary: 1151 Buena Vista Rd. Suite 100, Hollister; details: Ann Pennington (831) 630-6387
Spring Grove Elementary: 500 Spring Grove Rd., Hollister; details: Christina Hval (831) 637-5574.
Sites offering only lunch:
Anzar High School: 2000 San Juan Highway, San Juan Bautista; details: Janie Cecena: (831) 623-4402
Cerra Vista Elementary: 2151 Cerra Vista Dr., Hollister; details: Ann Pennington (831) 630-6387
Sunnyslope Elementary: 1475 Memorial Dr., Hollister; details Ann Pennington (831) 630-6387
To get more information about the sites offering free meals this summer, go to the California Department of Education’s website: cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/sn/summersites15.asp or call 1-800-952-5609 and select option 3. 

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