Starting June 17 the GNS free Summer Lunch program will serve free, healthy, nutritious meals to children 18 and under at a number of locations in Siskiyou County.

Despite the weather, summer is almost here, said Great Northern Service’s Nichole Solga Smith, and school will be out before we know it.

Over the summer months, many local children will lose access to the free or reduced-cost school meals that make up a significant portion of their daily nutrition.

“You can help change that,” Solga Smith said.

Starting June 17 the GNS free Summer Lunch program will serve free, healthy, nutritious meals to children 18 and under at a number of locations in Siskiyou County. The program is built on the USDA Summer Food Program, and the federal funding they contribute covers the basic ingredients leaving local communities responsible for preparing, transporting, and distributing the meals.

GNS is seeking summer lunch chefs to work alongside other dedicated volunteers to prepare the healthy, wholesome meals that are distributed through the Summer Food Program.

“If you can spend even just one morning a week helping with these easy kitchen activities, it will be a huge contribution,” Solga Smith said.

If volunteering your time is not an option, GNS is also looking for summer lunch sponsors to ensure high-quality fresh vegetables and protein for kids this summer.

“Be a part of the growing circle of caring community members who are giving Siskiyou County children a brighter future,” said Solga Smith. “Your contributions will impact the health and well-being of our most vulnerable young citizens, helping to replace the meals they count on during the school year. Give them a chance to be kids –happy, healthy, and on vacation worry-free.”

Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from June 17 to Aug. 9 at the Weed Elementary School kitchen. Activities might include cleaning, cutting, peeling, bagging, and packaging meals. No prior kitchen prep experience is necessary.

To learn more, call Solga Smith at (530) 938-4115 ext. 115 or sign up online at https://www.gnservices.org/volunteer-to-be-a-summer-lunch-chef/