Posted by Street Roots

It’s lunchtime at Alder Elementary in the east Portland suburb of Gresham, and even though it’s summer, the school’s gym-turned-cafeteria is packed with children. There are about 80 grade school kids sitting at benches munching away at sandwiches and fruit as about 20 parents look on. This food is free, and that’s important says Lena Fox, who oversees the meals’ distribution, because without this extra help many of these low-income kids might go hungry.

“We really worry in the summer about what kind of food is available because we know a lot of them (students) face hunger issues,” says Fox.

Fox coordinates the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods, or SUN, program for Alder. A joint effort between the Oregon Food Bank, Multnomah County, and Metropolitan Family Service, the poverty-abatement program expects to serve thousands of summers meals like this one at Alder and its other affiliated schools.