Students take part in the No Hungry Child lunch program at Highland Elementary School last year. The program served more than 7,100 meals in 2011. (Photo courtesy of the Marion-Polk Food Share)

In Marion and Polk counties, more than 39,000 children count on the school lunch program for a free or low-cost meal. For some children, days away from school may mean no lunch at all.

To help relieve some of the stress, Marion-Polk Food Share is coordinating the No Hungry Child Spring Break Lunch Program.

From noon to 1 p.m. March 26-30, children ages 1 to 18 can eat a nutritious lunch for free at the following locations:

• Cummings Elementary School, 613 Cummings Ln. N., in Keizer.

• Town & Country Bowling Lanes, 3500 River Rd. N. in Keizer.

• Keizer Boys & Girls Club, 4540 Noren Ave. N.E., in Keizer.

• Highland Elementary School, 530 Highland Ave. N.E., in Salem.

• Brooks Assembly of God Church, 9165 Portland Road N.E., in Brooks.

• Gervais Middle School, 150 Douglas Avenue, in Gervais.

Last year the program served more than 7,100 meals to area students. No registration is required.

“We want people to spread the word about this program to make sure that every child who needs food gets it,” said program coordinator Nancy Hadley. “We’ll also have fun activities for the kids at many of the sites, and free books from Reading for All.”

Volunteers are welcome to come and engage the kids while they eat. To help lead activities or make lunches, call Janet Spingath, 503-581-3855, ext. 311.

KEIZERTIMES/Graph by Andrew Jackson

Make a Difference

Hunger in Keizer and the Mid-Willamette Valley won’t go away without help. Here are some ways to get involved and be part of the solution:

• Volunteer at the Keizer Community Food Bank. Call 503-393-0404.

• Join the Sustainer Circle. Monthly gifts help fight local

hunger year-round. Go to

• Contribute food or funds at participating Rotary Food Drive locations during March.

• Host a food/funds drive at your business, church or organization. Call Lindsay Blackman, 503-581-3855, ext. 308

• Invite a MPFS speaker to talk about local hunger to your group or organization. Email your request to