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Share to provide free summer meals to children

Program will be active from June 25 to August 10; volunteers needed

CLARK COUNTY — From June 25 to August 10, Share’s Summer Meals program will provide free meals for children at 22 locations throughout Clark County; approximately 27,000 meals are expected to be served.

“When children go hungry, their basic needs aren’t being met and then they can’t reach higher goals and aspirations,” said Katie Dwailebee, hunger response assistant director. “If children don’t have enough nutritious food, they not only suffer physically, but they also face a lifetime effort to move beyond that basic struggle to survive towards being able to thrive.”From June 25 to August 10, Share’s Summer Meals program will provide free meals for children at 22 locations throughout Clark County; approximately 27,000 meals are expected to be served.

Share’s Summer Meals program focuses on providing fresh, healthy meals, including fruits and vegetables, so that children in our community do not face hunger during the summer months when school doors are closed. The program’s success is due to the many partners and sponsors who help keep this program running each year, especially Evergreen Public Schools for donating the use of kitchen space at Covington Middle School.

Share needs volunteers to prepare and deliver meals (breakfast & lunch) to all Summer Meals locations from June 25 to August 10 (Monday to Friday only). A complete list of volunteer opportunities is available at www.sharevancouver.org. To sign-up, e-mail [email protected] or call (360) 952-8228.

This year’s program will serve meals at 22 locations, including apartment complexes, local schools, Police Activities League (PAL) camps, Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation camps, as well as local churches and community partners.

A complete schedule of dates and times during which meals will be served at all locations is available at sharevancouver.org. All the locations are open sites and all children age 18 and under are welcome to come and enjoy a free meal even if they are not enrolled in the program.

June through August, families can call the Family Food Hotline 1-888-4-FOOD-WA to receive up-to-date information about locations for free lunches for kids across the state.

Summer Meals is sponsored by the Simplified Summer Food Service Program; additional funding comes through donations from individuals and private foundation grants. Meals will be made available at no charge to attending children age 1-18 years.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

Share was founded in 1979 with the goal of caring for the homeless and hungry in the greater Vancouver area. Share operates three shelters for the homeless, a transitional housing program, Lincoln Place (a 30-unit Housing First model apartment complex), Women’s Housing and Transition (WHAT) program, a street outreach program including a Day Center, Talkin’ Trash (a community clean-up program), a Housing & Essential Needs (HEN) program, provides case management to clients and provides daily meals for the homeless and low-income members of our community.

Share also operates a summer meals program for low-income children and a backpack program benefitting 1,750-plus children at 97 schools to provide food for weekends to children receiving free or reduced-fee lunches. Additionally, Share offers financial programs that incorporate financial education and matched dollars for savings; these programs are designed to assist in the improvement of credit scores and financial management. For more information on Share, visit www.sharevancouver.org.

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