The Lunch in the Park program is returning this summer to provide free, healthy lunches for children during the summer months. The program will run from June 3 to Aug. 2 (no lunch will be served July 4), Monday through Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Douglass Park's main shelter, 400 N. Providence Road. The program, coordinated by the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (PHHS), is in its 19th year. The meals are served by volunteers coordinated by the Voluntary Action Center.
"We appreciate the continued community partnerships that have allowed us to offer this wonderful program for many years," PHHS Director Stephanie Browning said. "We are glad we can offer summer lunch meals to help fill the gap at home for the many families who rely on school meals. Together, we can offer programs like this to help families and children thrive."
Community partnerships allow children, 18 years of age and younger, to get free, nutritious lunches on weekdays this summer. The USDA-funded program, an extension of the school free and reduced lunch program, provides complete, wholesome meals, prepared by Columbia Public Schools.
In addition to the meals being served, there will also be an educational program for the children present each day, such as recycling education, fitness activities, live music, library activities and more.