School Day Café started serving free meals to children at Old Town Newhall Library and Canyon Country Library on Tuesday with more community and school locations being added in the coming weeks.
“There’s still a great need,” said Jo Kremer, an area supervisor at School Day Café, also known as Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services Agency. “We still are serving a great deal of our community each and every day.”
For more than two decades, School Day Café has been providing free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to children ages 1-18 every summer. The agency also serves students during the school year, including more than 500,000 children this past school year, according to Kremer.
During a regular summer, School Day Café serves around 15,000 children. Last summer, due to the pandemic, more than 100,000 children received meals, Kremer said.
“There’s still families that are struggling. They aren’t able to go back to their jobs due to child care or schooling, where kids are online and they have to be home and the parents have to be home with them to be able to help them through the online learning,” she said. “I think that this has been such an incredible asset to our community (and) our families.”
The two libraries currently serving meals are open from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Starting on Monday, meals will be served at the Val Verde Youth Activities League between 12 and 2 p.m. The Canyon Country and Newhall Boys and Girls Clubs will start serving meals on June 14, along with the Newhall Community Center and Jakes Way Summer Program.
Many area elementary schools will have free meals available starting June 21. Enrollment or certification are not required to participate in the program. Meals may not be eaten at the pick-up sites.
For more information about the summer meal program, including hours and locations, call 661-295-1574.