This summer, if your kids are out at the Springville Splash Pad, Payson Community Pool, Spanish Fork City Center Library Park, Taylor Elementary in Payson or Santaquin’s Centennial Park at lunch time on weekdays, they’re in for a free meal.
For the second year in a row, the Utah Food Bank is offering free lunches to anyone 18 and under in south Utah County. And unlike during the school year, when parents need to provide information for their children to qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches, there’s no documentation required, said Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank Chief Development Officer.
A truck pulls up at the sites, and every child who wants a lunch can have one, she said. Most Utah County sites will operate through Aug. 18.
- Springville Splash Pad, 50 S. Main St. 1:45–3 p.m.
- Spanish Fork City Center Library Park, 100 E. 50 South, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
- Payson Community Pool, 655 S. Main St., 1–2 p.m.
- Santaquin Centennial Park, 300 W. 100 South, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
- Taylor Elementary School, 40 S. 500 West, 10:30–11 a.m. (through July 20)
The lunches consist of a sandwich, vegetable, fruit and milk, according to the Utah Food Bank website. Last week, the program served 597 meals at Payson Community Pool, 629 meals in Santaquin, 1,445 meals in Spanish Fork, and 300 at Taylor Elementary. The Springville location opened this week.
The program is a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which will serve 200 million free meals this summer at sites around the country.
In July last year — the peak month of the summer meals program — the USDA provided meals to 2.8 million children every weekday at 47,981 sites in the U.S. “The sites … include schools, camps, parks playgrounds, housing projects, community centers, churches and other public sites where children gather in the summer,” according to the USDA. It’s a federally funded program administered by states. Sponsors like the Utah Food Bank enter into agreements with state agencies to run the program locally.
If you don’t live near the south Utah County free lunch sites, Alpine and Provo school districts also offer free breakfasts and lunches in the summer. The meals are free to anyone 18 and younger, and adults can pay a small fee to eat as well.