Free lunches for children will be available at seven locations around Columbia this summer.
Lunch in the Park started Monday and lasts until Aug. 3. It will be held at Douglass Park's main shelter, 400 N. Providence Road. Volunteers and Columbia Public Schools will prepare and serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday for kids 18 and younger. The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is coordinating the program.
From July 2 to Aug. 10, The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri also will serve lunch between noon and 1 p.m Monday through Friday at the following locations:
- Bear Creek Park, 1402 Elleta Blvd.
- Derby Ridge Elementary School, 4000 Derby Ridge Drive
- Indian Hills Park, 5009 Aztec Blvd.
- McKee Street Park, 1900 McKee St.
- Valleyview Park, 2210 Garden Drive
- West Middle School, 401 Clinkscales Road
Neither programs will serve lunch on July 4.
This is the 10th year of the food bank's Summer Feeding Program and the 18th year of Lunch in the Park. This year, the two programs are cross-promoting each other and sharing resources in order to ensure that children in need do not go hungry, said Janese Heavin, communications coordinator for the food bank.
All locations will also offer educational programming with activities like reading, yoga and health education.