Summer Meals Season is coming to a close

by Fatima Jawaid

“Area children who need food during the summer know they can come here and get fed,” said Cheri Meeker, Newberg’s former Nutrition Services Director. Meeker, after spending 10 years in the school district, retired at the end of June.

Newberg School District has been running its summer meal program for almost 20 years. In the early days, the summer meals program was open only to summer school students, but for the last 12 years, Meeker takes pride that it has been open to all children during the critical summer months.

Newberg School District operates 5 sites in various locations throughout the community, including 4 park sites. All food preparation happens in the kitchen at Edwards Elementary before it is delivered to each individual meal site – in total all sites are feeding about 300 to 400 children a day on average. 

The program runs for the majority of summer–with just a week break at the start and end of summer. The school district, Meeker says, finds it important for the summer meal program to run the majority of summer as a significant amount of families depend on it. Adults can also purchase a meal for just $1 so they can eat with their children.

“It’s my favorite program that I have run,” said Meeker. “I just love that these meals bring people of all ages together. I love the sense of community it engenders. You see mamas bringing their little babies. Parents, grandparents, and children all get to hang out together.”

All of Newberg School districts sites operate until August 23rd–and serves as an important source of nutrition during the critical summer months when school is out of session.

The Summer Food Service Program is available in hundreds of communities throughout Oregon, offering free meals and snacks to all kids ages 1-18. Summer meal programs are open to all families without paperwork or signing up–kids can just drop in! To find a summer meal program in your community, visit, text ‘food’ or ‘comida’ to 877-877, or call 211.