Oakland kicks off free summer lunch program

June 18, 2012 10:21:59 PM PDT
Oakland kicks off a free summer lunch program today for children in the city.

The program helps feed some 20,000 kids who depend on free and reduced-cost school meals during the school year. The meals are available to anyone under the age of 18 and there are no program requirements or paperwork to complete.

The city now offers 144 locations where kids can receive a free meal and that's 30 more than last year. The meals are being offered at schools, libraries and community centers.

"This may be one of the few meals that they have during the day, so this is pretty important. It also means that they'll be able to continue with what they've gotten during the school year, which is a nutritious lunch," said Allen Ng, the USDA regional administrator.

And the menu is also expanding. Gone are chips and fries -- they've been replaced by fruits and salads. Both the kids and the parents are also being educated about healthy eating habits.

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