A. Jaye Johnson has seen many sack lunches and milk cartons provided in his time as unit director at the Memorial Park Boys and Girls Club in Oklahoma City.
The free lunches are part of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's Summer Feeding Program, which Johnson said has been a blessing since it began 10 years ago.
“When parents drop off their kids they always say ‘Make sure you eat,'” Johnson said. “I am proud to say the food bank has helped us do that.”
Last summer, the food bank served 114,017 meals at 49 locations. This year programs are set up at 59 locations in Oklahoma City that serve lunch, with some sites also serving breakfast.
Ryan Abernathy, program director for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, said the meals are important because 90 percent of students in Oklahoma City Public Schools are on free or reduced-price lunch plans during the school year and need meals during summer.
“Lots of kids are dependent on these meals when school lets out, so we try to provide them with a nutritious meal each day,” Abernathy said.
The meals are funded by the Summer Food Service Program, a nationwide program that provides food for children when they are not in school.