Spring break is a week that most children look forward to with excitement. For thousands of local children, a week away from school may mean boredom, unhappiness and even hunger. Free activities, books and lunch are available to children during SuperFunHappyBreakTime, running from noon to 1 p.m., Monday, March 23, through Friday, March 27.
The spring break lunch program is at 41 locations across Marion and Polk counties. Each location will serve a nutritious lunch free of charge to anyone ages 1 to 18, in addition to offering free books and fun activities for children and families. No registration is required.
“Spring break should be a fun time for children and their families,” explains Vickie Hardin Woods, volunteer program manager. “SuperFunHappyBreakTime is a great opportunity for kids to come together for some fun, some learning and a good lunch.”
The program is offered at sites in Salem, Keizer, Dallas, Independence, Aumsville, Silverton, Mt. Angel, Jefferson, Stayton, Gervais, Hubbard, Grand Ronde and Woodburn. The sites include local schools, churches, apartment complexes, Boys & Girls Clubs and libraries. The program sites were chosen because they are in areas where many children receive free and reduced-price lunches.
The spring break lunch program began in 1993 after area teachers expressed concern that their students may not have enough food to eat during spring break week. The program has grown to serve more than 7,500 meals last year. It is organized and run by a partnership of multiple community organizations and relies on the time of hundreds of volunteers to make meals, deliver and serve food and lead activities.
Community partners involved in SuperFunHappyBreakTime include Marion Polk Food Share, Salem-Keizer Schools Child and Adult Care Food Program, Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, Salem Housing Authority, Boys and Girls Club of Salem – Marion and Polk Counties, Fresh N Local, Food and Nutrition Services for the Central, Dallas, Gervais, North Marion, Salem-Keizer and Woodburn school districts, Polk County Service Integration Team and others.