Share’s 17th annual Summer Meals program begins on June 24

Additional volunteers needed to deliver meals

VANCOUVER — From June 24 to August 9, Share’s Summer Meals program will provide free meals for hundreds of children at 20 locations throughout Clark County.

“Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does a child’s need for good nutrition. Share’s Summer Meals program provides free meals to all children ages 18 and under so that they can get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months when they are out of school,” said Becci Read-Ryan, Share’s Hunger Response Assistant Director.

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, as well as the dozens of volunteer who help to prepare and deliver meals to site locations.

“Our Summer Meals program would not be able to operate without the generosity of dozens of volunteers who prepare meals, host meal sites and deliver the meals to each location,” said Molly Evjen, director of Volunteers & Community Resources. “Of particular challenge for us this year is recruiting enough volunteers to deliver meals. We are truly hoping that our call for help will inspire community members to volunteer just a few hours of their time each week to help provide children with free, nutritious meals.”

Share is specifically in need of volunteers to deliver meals to each site location and return the coolers back to Covington (Monday to Friday only; lunch at all locations, breakfast also provided at some locations). A complete list of volunteer opportunities is available at sharevancouver.org. To sign-up, please e-mail mevjen@sharevancouver.org or call (360) 952-8228. All volunteers are required to complete Share’s Volunteer Application, which includes a background check. The Volunteer Application can be completed online at sharevancouver.org.

This year’s program will serve meals at 20 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 1-866-348-6479 or text ‘Food’ or ‘Comida’ to 877-877 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 ages 1-18 years.

About Share

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), a street outreach program, including a Day Center, 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 1,680 children at 91 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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