The Los Angeles Summer Lunch Program and a Map to find Them

Jul 03, 2010 by Lisa Newton

In case you didn’t know it in my previous professional life I used to be what is commonly called a “Lunch Lady.”

That’s right, I was the manager of the food program for a high school in Maryland. Every day, we would feed over 600 kids for both breakfast and lunch.

From hamburgers to tacos to fresh salads, we prepared and served it all. I know the prevailing perception is that schools mainly serve “junk food,” but that’s simply not true. Indeed, times are changing and in many schools the food is getting better and more nutritious.

I know that when I worked there, the Montgomery County Public School System’a Food and Nutrition Services division put a lot of time and effort into purchasing nutritious food, and ensuring the kids were being served the best tasting and healthy food possible–all on a very small budget.

As an aside, it was just announced that Montgomery Count Public Schools has the highest graduation rate among the nation’s 50 largest districts.

Congratulations, Montgomery County!

Los Angeles is also striving to keep the children under their purview receive full and healthy meals. In fact, now that most of the schools have closed for the summer, it’s time for the Summer Food Service Program aka the “Summer Lunch Program” to kick into gear. It provides free nutritious lunches and snacks to kids from ages 1-18, at our City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks recreation centers.

It’s a big job. The goal of the program is to ensure children receive at least one nutritious and balanced meal per day when school is not in session.

From a Hoagie sandwich to a Tostada Pack, followed by a fruit of the day with a milk chaser, the menu isn’t that extensive, but it’s filling and healthy. And the kids love it.

With the Summer Lunch Program available at over 100 parks city wide, I’m sure there’s a park near you that, if you have children, you can take full advantage of.

To help you find a park near you I created this nifty map:

View Los Angeles Summer Food Program Locations in a larger map

Of course, you’ll also need to know what time to come for both lunch and a snack. These are also included in the map above. Just click on any blue icon for more information.

For some kids, the Summer Food Program is essential to their growth and good health. I hope everyone takes full advantage of it and the food being offered.

All the information used for this map was provided by the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation.

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