Where Southern California Children Can Get Free Summer Meals

Meals will be offered in schools, parks and recreation centers

To prevent students from going hungry during summer break, various parks and recreation facilities, public schools and libraries are offering school-aged children free meals in Southern California.

Here is a list of some of those programs:

Summer Food Service Program

The Summer Food Service Program is a U.S. Department of Agriculture federally funded program that provides meals for children 18 years and younger during school breaks of at least fifteen consecutive days.

Visit their website for a list of more than 500 meal sites in Los Angeles or 
download the CA Meals for Kids mobile application to find nearby participating locations.

The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Food Program


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The Department of Recreation and Parks is participating in the Good Food Purchasing Program to offer healthy and nutritious lunches to children and teenagers ages 1 through 18. 

People with disabilities 19 years and older can also participate if they are enrolled in a special school district program during the school year.

The meals will be offered at more than 100 parks from June 10, 2019 - August 9, 2019. There are locations in the West Valley, Mid Valley, North Valley, North East, Central/Hollywood, South/Mid-City, West LA, and Harbor regions of Los Angeles.

Meals must be eaten on-site. Food is served on a first come, first served basis. Children may get served seconds only after all children have been served a first meal.

No application or proof of income is needed. Just bring your child to a participating city of Los Angeles park. To find a location near you, go to the LA Recreation and Parks website or call 818-546-2383 or 818-546-2384, or text "Summer Meals" to 97779.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is running its 14th annual Free Summer Lunch Program, which runs until the beginning of the new school. 

The program will serve more than 3,000 meals per day at more than 50 locations, which include the Boys and Girls Clubs, schools, community centers, the Salvation Army and libraries. Some sites are part of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a federally funded nutrition program for children who may face hunger during school breaks.

Registration is required for some sites. Proof of income eligibility may be needed. For more information visit their website.

Riverside and Alvord Unified School Districts

The Riverside and Alvord Unified School Districts, the Center for Ecoliteracy, and the City of Riverside are offering free summer meals to all Riverside children and teens 18 years and younger. Children are eligible for this program regardless of parent’s income or status.

Meals will be offered in 40 locations which include parks, libraries and schools.

Parents can text ‘FOOD’ or ‘COMIDA’ to 877-877, or visit their website to find out where to pick up a free lunch for their child.

Compton Unified School District

The Compton Unified School district is offering free summer meals to children 18 years and younger.

Meals will be served Monday - Thursday. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served at 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Twenty-three schools will provide free food until Aug. 7. Some schools end their programs earlier on July 11. All sites will be closed July 4 and 5. Check their website for more details.

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Pasadena Unified School District

The Pasadena Unified School District will offer free breakfasts and lunches for children 18 years and younger this summer. Parents can take their children to one of 27 community sites for free meals throughout Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and free meals will be served at schools, parks and other sites. Pre-registration is not required, and children do not need to be attending schools in these districts.

For more information, visit their website or call PUSD Food and Nutrition Services at (626) 396-5852. 

Glendale Unified School District

The Glendale Unified School District is providing free lunches to all children under 18.

The program will run from June 17 - July 19, with some locations operating until August 9

Food must be eaten on the premises. Lunch will not be served on July 4.

For more information, and to see the school menu, visit their website.

LA County Library 

Well fed and well read. Los Angeles County Libraries are offering free summer lunches for children 18 and under in participating locations until August 2. Meals are offered Monday – Friday at 12 – 1 p.m.

Before serving lunch, many libraries will offer a storytime activity. After lunch, additional programs are offered, including performances, nutrition workshops, and school preparedness activities.

Lunch will be served on a first come, first served basis. There are no restrictions regarding family income.

Visit their website to learn more.

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