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Sonoma County Summer Lunch Program for Kids needs Volunteers


Sonoma County Summer Lunch Program for Kids needs Volunteers

Karla Robles kicks off the 2014 Summer Lunch Program with a hot dog in the shade!

By Christi Gentry

The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is looking for over one hundred volunteers to help ensure Sonoma County’s at-risk children get a healthy meal this summer. From June 8th through August 14th, more than 30,000 children in need of food will receive a healthy lunch and exposure to enrichment activities through the REFB’s Summer Lunch Program.

Now in its 12th year, the REFB will team up with the Santa Rosa City School’s Central Kitchen to ensure that children, who rely on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, won’t miss a meal during summer break. This year there are over 40 program sites, many of which will include a physical, educational and nutritional activity component.

“We are so grateful to have this amazing collaboration with the school kitchen to feed children in our community through the summer months. Summer is a challenging time for many low-income working families struggling to feed their kids when school is out. The Summer Lunch Program ensures children in Sonoma County have access to a healthy meal.” shares Itzul Gutierrez, REFB Program Manager.

REFB Lunch Program activitiesIn addition to a nutritious lunch, the program incorporates enrichment activities that encourage active minds and reduce learning loss during the summer break. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has generously awarded a $25,000 grant to cover the costs of science and eco based learning activities. Program highlights will include visits from the Bookmobile - Sonoma County’s roaming library, hands on activities about growing and preparing food, food nutrition, wildlife habitat, and environmental stewardship.

"Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is honored to partner with Redwood Empire Food Bank to help feed children in need in our community.” says Dan Goldfield, Board President, Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. “To want for nutritious food in a place as bountiful as our Sonoma home is unthinkable, and clearly unacceptable. We are infinitely grateful for the work of the REFB in our county, and feel that the Summer Lunch Program is a perfect fit for our support of the youth who are the future of our community.  We hope that we can help encourage a love for healthy food and helping others in supporting this hugely valuable program."

Volunteers Needed:
Over one hundred volunteers are needed to help with serving and delivering lunches, and assisting with educational activities. If you are looking for a rewarding way to give back to your community and would like more information, please contact Vanessa Wallace, REFB Community Programs Coordinator at 707.723.7900 ext. 155 or email

To learn more about the REFB and ways to get involved in hunger-relief efforts locally, visit



About Redwood Empire Food Bank

The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has fed hungry people, currently serving 82,000 children, families and seniors each month in Sonoma County, while striving to end hunger in our community. The REFB collaborates with local and regional partners to obtain and distribute 14+ million pounds of food annually, the equivalent of 33,000 meals every day. It is also the primary resource for hunger relief agencies in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Visit or call 707-523-7900 to learn more.



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