Local food bank to begin giving free daily lunches

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COLUMBIA - "Our Summer Food Party" will begin Monday.

"Our Summer Food Party" is an event run by the the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri in partnership with That Pop-Up Restaurant and Food Party Como. The Food Bank was also given a grant by No Kid Hungry to help fund this event.

The event will give kids, 18 and under, an opportunity for a free lunch in Columbia every weekday from Monday, July 1 until August 9. The foods that will be offered range from burritos to smoothies. Anyone outside of that age range will be able to donate $5 and receive a lunch, as well.

Instead of a truck handing out lunches, this year is different with the restaurant-style. The program director for No Kid Hungry Missouri said its goal is the same, but its method is different from year's past. 

"Our opportunity here is to take this model and provide kids with an opportunity to participate in summer meals in an environment that they will like and enjoy where they want to come back day after day," said John Barry.

The director of programs for The Food Bank said the goal is bigger than just providing meals to those who need it.

"We're really trying to stay away from the, this is a free lunch for kids who need it. We're trying to focus on a healthy and nourished community, one where kids can grow," said Eric Maly.

The event will be held at four separate locations each day:

Valley View Park from 11:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Bear Creek Park from 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Derby Ridge Elementary from 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Indian Hills Park from 1:20 p.m. -1:50 p.m.