Children's free summer lunch program begins

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School is out for the summer, but children used to eating lunch at school don't have to go without an afternoon meal during the break.

The USDA's Summer Food Service Program returns to Walla Walla and College Place this summer at 17 sites throughout the area.

The federal program is administrered by the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, and is available to communities and sites where at least 50 percent of children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

The local program is sponsored by the City of Walla Walla Parks & Recreation Department, and provides free lunches to all children ages 1 to 18 at designated locations.

The city partners with Walla Walla Public Schools for meal preparation and delivery.

Meals are offered free to any child, regardless of income, on a first come, first served basis.

Last summer, the program provided 29, 227 meals to area children, said Angela Potts, the city's recreation coordinator.

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