Summer vacation is in full swing! However, for families already struggling to put food on their tables with the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley, the summer months can be especially difficult.

Four out of 5 Silicon Valley kids who are eligible for summer meal programs don’t participate, but nutritious food is critical throughout the entire year – not only for better health and emotional well-being, but also to avoid the “summer slide,” where food-insecure kids lose ground academically.

At Second Harvest, we want to ensure that families in our community can make sure their kids have enough to eat during the summer. There are more than 120 sites in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties where any child who is 18 or younger can get a free lunch. Some sites also offer free breakfast and an afternoon snack as well as low cost meals to adult caregivers.

To find locations near you, text “FOOD” to 877-877.

Catering to the Kids

In efforts to connect more people to nutritious food, Second Harvest has partnered with community leaders to reach more kids in their neighborhoods. On Friday, June 14, we visited Mountain View Whisman School District’s Food Services Director Debbie Austin, Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph and Chef Dalton, along with President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Joe Simitian, to celebrate the launch of their beautiful, brand new food truck.

In Mountain View, Simitian proposed funding for a new food truck that will bring meals to children and their families in the Mountain View Whisman School District during the summer and throughout the school year. The food truck, which is the result of a partnership between Santa Clara County, the Mountain View Whisman School District and Second Harvest, will make it easier to take nutritious, fresh food out into the neighborhoods and parks where people are gathering.

Second Harvest CEO Leslie Bacho reflected:

“There is enough nutritious food for everyone, but the challenge has been getting it into the hands of the people who need it. Hunger can have devastating consequences for kids, so we focus on increasing both the awareness of and the accessibility to free summer meals. Working collaboratively with our community partners, we’ve made good progress toward increasing participation, but we also know there is more to do.”

With an eye-catching exterior and a top-of-the-line interior, Chef Dalton – who is a bit of a celebrity in the school district – will provide an innovative way for kids to easily access healthy, appealing food, making stops at schools and nearby parks. For more information on hours and locations, head here.

Bacho continued, “The biggest challenge for summer meals is both kids finding a site close by and just knowing that the food is available. So, this solves both problems.” There was true gratitude at the event, and we’re excited to continue working with the community to solve hunger.

Learn about other food resources, including free healthy groceries and CalFresh.