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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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PP&R will provide Free Lunch + Play programs in Summer 2020

up close photo of white plastic sign board in a park advertising Free Lunch + Play

POSTED APRIL 16, 2020

(Portland, OR) –

Concerts in the Park, Movies in the Park, Washington Park Summer Festival, and Portland World Soccer Tournament are canceled this summer.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is planning to operate the Free Lunch + Play program this summer. Access to nutritious food has proven to be one of the highest needs in our community during this public health crisis. PP&R and our partners will play an important role in keeping kids healthy this summer.

57% of young Portlanders qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. Without school lunches, summer becomes the time when nearly 50,000 Portland children face hunger daily. PP&R’s Free Lunch + Play program supports families by offering nutritious meals and recreational activities - arts, crafts, sports, and games - during the summer break from school.

“The last few weeks have been unprecedented for all of us as we navigate the COVID-19 global health crisis,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “In these circumstances, we must focus on the highest needs of the people we serve. Portland Parks & Recreation will focus on the Free Lunch + Play program to fill the summertime meal gap for thousands of young people.”

Working alongside community partners, Portland Public Schools, David Douglas, Reynolds, Parkrose, and Centennial School Districts, and Oregon Food Bank and Urban Gleaners, PP&R coordinates the Free Lunch + Play program to ensure that it meets the changing needs in our community.

Food access during this time remains one of the highest needs for Portland. Portland Parks & Recreation is prepared to mobilize and provide free meals for children and youth, citywide. If you would like to contribute to this effort—please make you pledge here: COUNT ME IN!

Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All program will not include the Concerts in the Park, including the Washington Park Festival, Movies in the Park, and the Portland World Soccer Tournament. This decision will ensure that the bureau’s summer offerings can adhere to the guidance of public health officials. In addition, summer preparations, such as hiring, fundraising and planning, normally would occur during the spring and that is not possible this year due to the financial and operational constraints PP&R is enduring at this time.

Portland Parks & Recreation continues to be in communication with, and following the guidance of, the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County Health Department, and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management regarding COVID-19. You can find more information on our webpage at portlandoregon.gov/parks/covid-19.

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