Free Lunches Offered to Youths From Disadvantaged Families

Free lunches will be provided this summer to youths under age 18 who are from economically disadvantaged families.

The summer lunch program, offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will run from July 8 to Aug. 29.

The program will be coordinated in county areas by the county Department of Parks and Recreation, according to Supervisor Deane Dana. Dana said that any nonprofit or municipal agency meeting USDA eligibility requirements may participate. Agency representatives may call Gene Sorrell, program administrator, at 213-738-3029.

Free lunches for school-age children also will be served at selected parks in the city of Los Angeles, according to Karin Hyle of the Recreation and Parks Department. The parks must be in communities where at least half the students are from families whose incomes are at or below the poverty level set by the agriculture department.

A family of four with a yearly income of $10,200 is considered living at the poverty level by the USDA, according to Tino Serrano of the USDA's San Francisco office.

Hyle stressed that the free lunches must be eaten at the sites and cannot be taken home.

Free lunches will also be distributed through city schools to children meeting the USDA economic criteria.

Last summer 719,782 lunches were served at 180 county sites over a 39-day period. Hyle said that 372,000 lunches were served at 82 city parks last summer.

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