By Susan Frey ~ EdSource Extra
School’s out, but Riverside Unified’s food services department is not closing down. “Hunger doesn’t take a vacation, and neither do we,” said Rodney Taylor, director of nutritional services for the district.
Each weekday, all summer long, the district and city have barbecues in 24 parks in low-income neighborhoods. Any child from age 2 through 17 can eat, no questions asked. The district expects to serve more than half a million meals through its summer program, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“They’re not getting some baloney sandwich in a brown bag, which says, ‘here’s a lunch because you’re poor,’” Taylor said. “We’re saying, ‘Come join us for a picnic.’” Each day children have the choice of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, spicy chicken, or hot links, along with whole-wheat bread, milk, and fresh fruit and vegetables from local organic farmers.