Vancouver mayor surprises children at Food & Fun program


Since June 22, Vancouver Parks and Recreation has distributed more than 4,000 meals at the five Food & Fun locations

Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle surprised a number of children who receive free lunches from the Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Food & Fun program Friday. The children were treated with an ice cream party. 

The mayor made visits at three different locations today. Since June 22, Vancouver Parks and Recreation has distributed more than 4,000 meals at the five Food & Fun locations. Food & Fun is a new grab and go meal and activity program that was created to meet the needs of families during the coronavirus pandemic. Vancouver Parks and Recreation partners with Share to provide nutritious meals through the USA summer meals program. 

Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Clark County Councilor Temple Lentz share some ice cream treats with children Friday as part of the city of Vancouver’s Food & Fun summer program. Photo by Mike Schultz
Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Clark County Councilor Temple Lentz share some ice cream treats with children Friday as part of the city of Vancouver’s Food & Fun summer program. Photo by Mike Schultz

In addition to meals, the children also are provided with free creative activities to help them stay engaged in learning over the summer. The program will continue on weekdays through Aug. 14.

McEnerny-Ogle visited children at Fort Vancouver High School, Leroy Haagen Memorial Park and Evergreen Neighborhood Park on Friday.

According to 2018 Feeding America data, 15 percent of children in Clark County experience food insecurity. That equates to more than 17,000 children in this community don’t know when they will receive their next meal. During most of the year, many of these children receive free and reduced-price meals through their schools.

The Food & Fun program provides free creative activities for kids and teens to help them stay engaged in learning over the summer. The take-home projects include a USDA lunch to support student health and wellness while kids are not receiving school meals over the summer.

Lunch is served Monday through Friday at five locations throughout Vancouver. Activity kits are available every Tuesday on a first-come, first-served basis. The kits are designed for ages 6 to 11 and feature hands-on crafts, experiments and projects to spark creativity. They are available to all kids ages 18 and under. Other fun gifts and giveaways are also provided throughout the week.

Food & Fun sites are set up to support physical distancing and ensure safe distribution of food and activities. Some park features may not be available during the program due to COVID-19 response. No paperwork is required, and no personal information is collected.

USDA meals are provided through the partnership with Share. The Share Summer Meals Program includes 26 sites throughout Vancouver. Activities are procured by Vancouver Parks & Recreation. Staff seek out items donated by community partners and individual donors.

Activities this summer have included Home Depot building kits, Burgerville seed growing kits, OMSI science experiments and fire safety education items from Vancouver Fire Department.

For more information, including locations, go to https://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/food-and-fun.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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