Since 1997, Greater Fall River RE-Creation has hosted Free Lunch in the Park each summer. This year marks their 21st summer hosting the program and now more than ever want to make sure that every family knows about it.

The Free Lunch in the Park program has expanded each summer to ensure that all of the city's youth have access to free, nutritious lunch and activities during the summer months.  This is a free, drop-in program for kids under 18 years of age who are eligible for free or reduced lunch during the school year.  Currently, 94% of Fall River's 10,250 public school students are eligible for free and reduced lunch but when school is not in session, most of these children are not getting the healthy lunch they need.

On average, this program passes out 50,000 free summer lunches each year in 9 city parks, 4 housing developments and multiple summer program locations like YMCA, Mastery School, and Atlantis Charter School. These lunches, per Massachusetts nutritional guidelines, include a milk, fruit and/or veggies and a sandwich.

Beyond the free lunch, kids are invited to participate in activities like board games, sports, arts & crafts and other activities that encourage socialization, and physical activity in a safe, supervised environment.

In an effort to spread awareness, community sponsors like Fall River Taxi Company and Battleship Cove encourage you to help spread awareness for this programs' continued success. Any donation towards the program helps to cover the cost of lunches plus allows for special activities to be brought to some of the sites, including magicians, rock walls (climbing walls) and local favorite Vinny the Bubble Guy. Not only does the program exist to keep kids fed, but it functions as a summer program for parents who do not have the means to send their child to fee-based program for the day.

If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Greater Fall River Free Summer Lunch in the Park Program, checks can be made payable to Greater Fall River RE-Creation, 45 Rock Street Fall River, MA 02720 or you can make an electronic,  tax-deductible donation via PayPal here.

To get any daily updates on the Free Lunch in the Park Program, follow Greater Fall River RE-Creation on Facebook.