homepage logo

Utah County school districts, Utah Food Bank launch summer nutrition programs

By Curtis Booker - | Jun 3, 2024

Courtesy Utah Food Bank

This photo from July 2022 shows a woman and child eating lunch at a Utah Food Bank free lunch site.

School may be out for the summer, but hunger doesn’t take a vacation.

To help ease the burden on low-income families, Utah County school districts and nutrition organizations once again are providing free meals for children under 18 as well as low-priced lunch and breakfast for adults.

According to the Utah Food Bank, 1 in 10 kids throughout the state are facing hunger. In Utah County specifically, there are over 17,000 children who are unsure where their next meal will come from, the agency says.

Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank president and CEO, says without school meals, families often can find themselves in pinch trying to feed their children in the summer months. “During the school year, parents can rely on up to two meals a day being served to their children, sometimes three meals at schools where we offer our Kids Cafe program after school,” she said.

And as prices at the grocery store continue to rise due to inflation, Bott says the need is likely to increase.

Where to get free meals

Alpine School District is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer meals at nine of their schools this summer from June 3-28. Last summer, just over 1,300 lunches and 700 breakfasts were served each day.

Buffy Swensen, ASD’s director of nutrition services, doesn’t rule out the potential of the need increasing this summer. “Yeah, we’re hoping more (will come) for sure. But a lot of the students that are in summer school participate. And so it depends on summer school and, obviously, community members will come eat too,” she said.

Breakfast is served in the cafeteria from 8-9 a.m., with lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Cherry Hill, Greenwood, Mountain Trails, Parkside, Westmore and Windsor elementary schools. Bonneville Elementary serves breakfast from 8-9 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to noon. Mountain View High and Orem Junior High serve breakfast from 7:45-8:45 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Breakfast is $2 and lunch is $5 for adults.

The Provo City School District’s Summer Meals Program also is sponsored by USDA and offers meals from June 3 to July 18.

Breakfast is offered from 8-9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Franklin, Provo Peaks, Spring Creek, Sunset View, Timpanogos elementary schools, as well as Independence and Provo high schools.

Each school provides meals Monday through Thursday, though no meals will be served June 19 and July 4.

Meals are free for children and teens ages 18 and under. Adult meals cost $2 for breakfast and $4 for lunch.

No application is needed and children do not have to attend a school in the district to drop in for a meal.

To encourage outdoor activity during the summer, Nebo School District once again is partnering with the Utah Food Bank to provide meals within the district at community parks. The program is underway and runs throughout a majority of the summer, ending Aug. 9. Meals will be served Monday-Friday with the exception of June 19, July 4 and July 24.

Families can stop by for lunch with their children while enjoying summertime activities. Meals are offered from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Spanish Fork City Center Library Park, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Springville Splash Pad and library, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Payson Municipal Building and 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Centennial Park in Santaquin.

Additionally, the Utah Food Bank will provide meals from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Cory Wride Memorial Park in Eagle Mountain and Hillcrest Park in Orem, and 10:30-11:45 a.m at Downtown Park in Pleasant Grove. No meals will be served during the week of June 17.

Adult meals and breakfast are not offered at these sites.

Parents also can text “FOOD” to 304-304 for a list of all summer meal sites, including those sponsored by other partners.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)