For students who rely on free and reduced lunch, summertime can mean hunger. But, Idaho Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program means free lunch for needy students continues, even though school’s out.
The foodbank picks lunch spots based on census and other data to make sure they reach the kids in need.
“It’s really targeting the schools or the families who are high need and who are low income,” says Mary Ann Liby. She runs the program for the Idaho Foodbank.
Volunteers and staff serve nearly 1,000 lunches each weekday. Tuesday's picnic in Borah Park was a little different. Boise Police Chief Bill Bones and other officers served ice cream as part of the Cone with a Cop event.
“This is a chance for our officers to interact with kids that sometimes have been through some tough circumstances in their life,” Bones says. “It’s a great partnership where kids are getting the resources they need – which is food and interaction and play – and for our officers to get a chance to make some positive contacts.”
The foodbank relies on these partnerships to expand their programming.
“We really couldn’t do what we do without our partnerships and fellow organizations,” says Liby. “Again, providing that well-rounded service to the families.”
Picnic in the Park runs weekdays through August 9. A list of lunch spots can be found on IdahoFoodbank.org.
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