10 sites offer free summer meals for kids

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More than 16,000 free meals — mostly lunches but also some breakfasts — are expected to be to served to children at 10 sites across Clark County this summer. In addition to hungry kids, sponsoring agency Share Vancouver is eager for volunteers to help serve the food.

The free SummerSLAM meal service will be hosted by Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation's Summer Playground Program. All sites are open and all children 18 and younger are welcome to enjoy free meals, even if they're not signed up to participate.

The SummerSLAM season is July 1 through Aug. 16 but meals vary by site and date; not every site offers a meal every day. Check Share for a list of dates and mealtimes. Volunteers can check the website, too or call 360-952-8228.

The six parks involved are Evergreen, Orchards, Oakbrook, Hearthwood, John Ball and Jaggy Road. Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation's Summer Playground Program is open to kids ages 5 through 11 and is a drop-in program at most locations — but not at Evergreen and Orchards parks, where registration is required and can be done at Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation.

Additional meal locations are Orchards Elementary, Silver Star Elementary, The Vancouver Housing Authority's Rise & Stars Center and Fort Vancouver High School.

Also, throughout June and August, families can call the Family Food Hotline at 888-4-FOOD-WA for information about free lunch locations for kids across the state.

SummerSLAM is sponsored by the federal government and by private donations from local individuals and foundations.