Children throughout Marion and Polk counties will be on spring break during the final days of March. For some, the break from school may also mean a break from receiving free and low-cost nutritious meals at school.

To reduce impact of food scarcity and underscore the “SuperFunHappyBreakTime” theme, Marion-Polk Food Share is partnering with local districts to offer free lunch and activities to all children ages 1-18.

A community volunteer team from Marion-Polk Food Share is once again coordinating the No Hungry Child Spring Break program, which will take place at 46 sites in Marion and Polk counties. In addition to serving an expected 9,000 meals, thousands of books will be distributed and each lunch site will conduct children’s activities. Last year, 8,422 meals were served.

From noon to 1 p.m. March 24-28, 41 sites in Marion County will offer a nutritious lunch for free. No registration is required.

“We want every child to have a good spring break experience that feeds their minds and their bodies,” said volunteer program coordinator Cheryl Wells in a press release. “We’re making special efforts this year to make sure every child gets a book every day and has an opportunity to do gardening or crafts activities that reinforce healthy living.”

The regional food bank network is currently serving about 16,000 children each month through its emergency food box program.

Also, nearly 40,000 children are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch at their schools in the two-county service area.

SuperFunHappyBreakTime is sponsored by Marion-Polk Food Share, Salem-Keizer Schools Child and Adult Care Food Program, Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties, Salem Housing Authority, Food and Nutrition Services for the Central, Dallas, North Marion and Woodburn school districts, Polk County Service Integration Team and other community partners.

For more information or to donate to this program, call Marion-Polk Food Share, 503-581-3855.

Local sites:

Brooks — Brooks Assembly of God, 9165 Portland Road N.E.

Gervais — Gervais Elementary School, 150 Douglas St.

Hubbard — Rivenes Park, Fourth and D streets

Mount Angel — St. Mary’s Elementary School, 590 E. College St.

Woodburn — Nuevo Amanacer, 1274 N. Fifth St. Suite 1A; and

Washington Elementary School, 777 E. Lincoln St.

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