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Second Harvest Launches Pilot Project in East Palo Alto and Redwood City to Provide Free Lunch to Families

Summer is a Difficult Time for Families Struggling to Get By

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 24, 2014– Summer can be a difficult time for families struggling to make ends meet because their children no longer have access to the free and reduced-price meals they receive at school. To encourage more families to take part in the federally funded Summer Feeding Program, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is partnering with Ravenswood and Redwood City school districts to provide food to parents and caregivers who accompany their children.

"The federal program is only for children," explained Susan Takalo, director of Programs at Second Harvest Food Bank. "We are hoping more parents or caregivers will bring their children to the summer feeding sites if they can also get a meal. Second Harvest is stepping up to cover the food costs and the districts have agreed to prepare meals for adult caregivers. This will mean more children and their families get the nutritious food they need to thrive."

The pilot is being conducted at Brentwood Elementary School, located at 2086 Clarke Street in East Palo Alto, and Fair Oaks School, located at 2950 Fair Oaks Avenue in Redwood City. The free lunch is provided Monday through Friday. Lunch is at 1 p.m. at Brentwood and 11:45 a.m. at Fair Oaks. No reservations are required.

The lunch is open to any child under 18 and their parent, grandparent or other caregiver. Families just need to show up at the site. The lunch is available until August 1.

Second Harvest provides food to more than 250,000 people every month. The Food Bank partners with more than 330 nonprofit agencies to distribute food at more than 770 sites throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, including pantries, soup kitchens, community centers, and shelters. Last year, Second Harvest distributed more than 52 million pounds of food.

Families who are struggling to put food on the table should call Second Harvest's Food Connection multilingual hotline at 800-984-3663 to learn about food-assistance programs that can help, including CalFresh (food stamps).

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is the trusted leader dedicated to ending local hunger. Since its inception in 1974, Second Harvest has become one of the largest food banks in the nation, providing food to more than one quarter of a million people each month. The Food Bank mobilizes individuals, companies and community partners to connect people to the nutritious food they need. More than half of the food distributed is fresh produce. Second Harvest also plays a leading role in promoting federal nutrition programs and educating families on how to make healthier food choices. Visit www.SHFB.org to get involved.