The status of this program will be re-evaluated as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. Please check back for updates.
Launched in 2011
Picnic in the Park is program hosted by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County during school children’s summer break. The program provides free lunches to children Monday – Friday at 17 sites countywide. Everyone is welcome and there is no sign-up or registration process. Only children under the age of 18 may take a free lunch. For site locations and times, please see below.
For many children who receive free and reduced-priced meals during the school year, summer can mean hunger.
Each summer, children wait for the last bell of the school year. Summer is an exciting time for children to enjoy playtime with friends, a week at camp, a family vacation, or time at the pool. But for many children who receive free and reduced-priced meals at school, summer can mean hunger.
Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does a child’s need for good nutrition. In fact, 84% of children in our county who receive free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year don’t receive any meal assistance during the summer, a time of critical brain development. That’s 34,000 children in our community.
Picnic in the Park offers free, healthy meals, fun physical activities and nutrition education opportunities to ensure that summer is fun for all kids in our county.
All children ages 1 – 18, now at 16 key locations throughout the county.
How the Program Works
The Foodbank provides free nutritious meals to children in our county during the summer as part of the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Healthy summer meals are served at 16 locations countywide – Monday thru Friday for 11 weeks. There are no income requirements, and any child 18 and under is welcome to come and receive a free, delicious lunch every weekday this summer. We also offer activities, games, and nutrition education at our sites throughout the summer. There is no sign-up or registration process and meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis.
OTHER SUMMER MEAL PROVIDERS
Utilize this Summer Food Directory Spreadsheet for a full listing of summer food providers.
Picnic in the Park offers free, healthy meals, fun physical activities and nutrition education to ensure that summer is fun for all kids in our county. To find a summer lunch site near you, check out our list of sites above or text ‘SUMMERFOOD’ to 877-877 sponsored by No Kid Hunrgy, CAC and Santa Barbara Unified School District Food Services.
Community volunteers and groups manage and support individual park sites, handing out lunches, organizing food literacy training, and summer games. Click here to get involved. For further questions about volunteering, please contact: Kate Newbury at (805) 729-8309 for South County sites, or Kelli Padilla at extension 301 for North County sites.