Centro La Familia offering free meals for children during Summer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — A Fresno non-profit is helping families by offering meals at no cost for children every Friday throughout the Summer.

Centro La Familia says the goal is to ensure residents know about the program and where they can access food before students return to school.

“They don’t have to come with a parent, they don’t have to sign any type of documents. We are just here providing free meals for them to sit down and eat a healthy meal,” said Centro La Familia program manager Diana Vargas.

Families can come to Centro La Familia in Southwest Fresno to enjoy a lunch and get out of the heat for a bit.

The local non-profit has partnered with the Economic Opportunities Commission to provide the food at no cost to anyone 18 and younger.

The meals are offered from 10 am to noon every Friday and follow federal guidelines to ensure they are nutritious and healthy.

Although every child is eligible, recipients must remain on-site while they eat.

“We’re just here to provide those free meals, healthy free meals and this is the perfect place for them to come over and grab them. Especially with everything that’s going on right now, a lot of our families that are low income are especially being impacted now,” Vargas said.

The folks at the Central California Food Bank say the rise in prices of everyday items amid soaring inflation is taking a toll on local households during this critical time.

“We feel kind of like we’re right back at the start of the pandemic with the number of individuals that we’re seeing in our food lines,” Central California Food Bank Co-CEO Natalie Caples.

Central California’s largest emergency hunger relief provider saw a dip in the amount of residents it served at the beginning of the year, but the need became greater just as the cost of living began to spike.

“March, April when gas prices started to increase and now food supply chain challenges and inflation with the cost of food increasing, we’re right there. We’re still serving 350,000 neighbors every single month.”

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