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Staff report

After being forced to close after-school food programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County kicked off its 2022 Summer Food Service Program on June 1 at 39 sites throughout the county.

Free meals will be provided to all children, without eligibility documentation, who are 18 years of age and younger, according to a news release. The program will allow children at risk of hunger to have access to nutritious lunches and snacks during summer break. To find the nearest open site, call 211 or text 898211 for hours of distribution.

Second Harvest will offer meals that include healthy morning and afternoon snacks and lunches such as chicken wraps, turkey sandwiches, fruit and milk, among other foods.

“The reality for many children is that school lunches are one of the few sources of steady nutrition; once school’s out, that reliability vanishes in a flash and increases their risk of food insecurity,” said Claudia Keller, CEO of Second Harvest, in the news release. “The fact that inflation is at record levels makes this summer even more challenging for families facing food insecurity.”

In fiscal year 2021, Second Harvest distributed almost 60 million pounds of food through their partner network to an average of 490,000 individuals each month.

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