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Portland Parks offers food, fun for kids at 4 locations in East Multnomah County

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION - Portland Parks & Recreation will bring free lunches and some socially-distanced activities to four spots in East Multnomah County starting Monday.

East Multnomah County kids can get a free lunch and some socially-distanced activities as Portland Parks & Recreation's annual Free Lunch + Play program begins for the summer on Monday, June 22.

Free lunches will be available at four East County locations and kids will also get activities, games, and/or books to take home at each location, the PP&R announcement said. The activities are designed to keep 6-feet of social distancing.

In East County, the program will be at Wilkes Park, Arbor Glen Apartments, Glenfair Park and at the new Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park (formerly Lynchview Park).

The Arbor Glen and Rutherford Park locations will offer a drive-thru option, where drivers need not exit the car to pick up meals.

PP&R said this year's program is part of an expanded effort by the city of Portland and area school districts, including Reynolds School District, to provide food security in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meals will be available at lunchtime or early afternoon, but schedules vary, and will be updated at portlandoregon.gov/parks/freelunch.

Children don't need to be present in order to receive a meal — they can be picked up by someone else. PP&R said it expects five times the demand for meals this year because of the cratering economy due to the restrictions imposed to tamp down the spread of the coronavirus.

"This summer looks different than any other, with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 health crisis," says PP&R Director Adena Long.

The program is greatly expanded this year because of a $200,000 grant from Bank of America.

"With the number of Mobile Lunch + Play sites serving our communities doubling this year, Summer Free For All Lunch + Play will have an even greater impact for youth who rely on this program for consistent and nutritious meals. We know food insecurity is on the rise, and we are committed to working together to do more to improve food security and economic mobility in our region," Roger Hinshaw, Bank of America's Market President in Oregon and Southwest Washington said in PP&R's announcement.

PP&R teams up with Portland Public Schools, the Parkrose and Reynolds school districts, and partners to make this effort a success. Portland Parks & Recreation, sponsors NIKE, Inc., Bank of America, and hunger relief partners play an important role in delivering critical community services this summer, PP&R said in the announcement.

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Meal locations

In East County, the program will be at:

- Wilkes Park, 3655 N.E. 154th Ave.

- Arbor Glen Apartments, 2609 S.E. 145th Ave.

- Glenfair Park, Northeast 154th Avenue and Couch Court

- Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park (formerly Lynchview Park) at Southeast 167th Avenue and Market Street.


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