All children are invited to enjoy free lunches again this summer through the Great Northern Services’ Summer Lunch program. Kids can find healthy meals, fun activities, and a chance to see their friends at nine different locations this summer.

“For the families of children who receive free or discounted school lunches, summer break can be a difficult time with higher food expenses and increased insecurity around where their meals will come from. The Summer Food program helps alleviate this stress,” said GNS Community Service Director Heather Solus. “And finding good summer activities for their kids can be a challenge for any family. We invite all children to join us at these lunch gatherings.”

GNS sponsors a USDA Summer Food Service program as their Summer Lunch program and has been expanding since its launch in 2015. This year, thanks to generous donations of time and money from Pacific Power Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, individual donors and volunteers, and local business like Studio B in Mt. Shasta, more of our community’s kids will be fed and in more locations than ever before, a GNS press release states.

Free lunches will be served this summer as follows:

• Dunsmuir – near the Dunsmuir Park & Recreation Ball Park from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

• McCloud – at McCloud Elementary School from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

• Montague – at Montague Elementary School from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

• Mount Shasta – three locations: Mount Shasta Elementary School from noon to 12:30 p.m.; Sisson School from noon to 12:30 p.m.; and starting July 9, at the City Park from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

• Weed – three locations: Bel Air Park from 11:30 a.m. to noon; Weed Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. to noon; and Mountain View Apartments from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

The GNS Summer Lunch program begins serving meals this week and will run every weekday through Aug. 3. Most sites will have activities for the kids on some days after lunch as well. Advance notice will be given if any lunch times or locations change over the course of the summer.

Meals are provided to all children ages 18 and under without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there is no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

“The community is invited to take an active role in making this program possible,” says GNS Marketing Assistant Nichole McCown. “We are looking for volunteers to help the GNS staff to prepare the healthy, wholesome meals that are distributed through the summer lunch program.”

All prep work is done at the WES kitchen from 7 to 10 a.m.

“Even if you can only help for one day a week,” adds McCown, “We’d love to have you on the team!”

Applications are available online at www.gnservices.org/volunteer; or call Heather Solus at 530-938-4115, ext. 128.

Great Northern Services is an equal opportunity provider and employer. As a community based nonprofit they focus on helping low-income households become economically self-sufficient in order to boost sustainability for the rural communities in Siskiyou County.

Learn more about GNS and its programs at www.gnservices.org.