Beaverton School District leads the way in providing food options in county

Free breakfasts and lunches began to be served at 71 sites in Washington County this week, with a few sites not opening until June 23.

“Washington County is a longtime champion of summer food programs,” said Lesley Nelson of Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

Food is offered through Beaverton, Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Tigard school districts; Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metro; Faith Café; Gales Creek Camp Foundation; and Oregon Child Development Coalition (Head Start).

For children ages 18 and younger, food is free. For those 19 and older, meals range from $2 to $3. “They don’t need to be on SNAP or provide any ID,” said Nelson. “Most programs are Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m., but local sponsors choose the times.”

To find a food site in your area, visit

Oregon serves 21 percent of children during the summer, she said, “higher than the national average of 17 percent.”

“Fifty-three percent of kids in the whole state get free and reduced-price lunch,” added Nelson. “During the summer, where are they eating?”

Numbers slumped in 2013, said Nelson, after the state Legislature cut budgets and programs at the local level. Since then, school districts, nonprofits and church groups have attempted to pick up the slack.

In 2012, the last year with state-level support, 253,066 meals were served in Washington County.

In 2013, the number served dropped to 241,704.

Nelson said some of the problems with serving school-age children during the summer include:

• Schools on tight budgets that close their buildings during the summer.

• Lack of transportation to food sites, such as school buses to pick up children at their regular stops. Some schools don’t have the budget to provide bus service during the summer.

“The Beaverton School District is our best success story,” said Nelson. “They have an amazing variety of food. They manage to make food beautiful. There’s a variety of hot and cold dishes, using three or four choices.

“They also had the best participation and added new sites.”

Meanwhile, Cornelius lost sites from 2012 to 2013, “It’s an area with a high migrant population,” said Nelson. “There’s a high need, but 9,000 meals weren’t served.”

Myrna Jensen of the Oregon Food Bank says it plans to expand its school-based food pantry program to Washington County, which would benefit families of limited means year-round.

Ford Motor Company recently announced it would provide milk, juice, oats and applesauce for hungry children in Oregon. Washington County will get a portion of the food, said Jensen, but the timeline for the allocation is unclear.

Meals in Beaverton

There are 24 school sites providing meals at no charge to all children in the community ages 1 to 18, and adults can eat for $3. All children are encouraged and welcome to come join in the fun. Lunches will be served Monday through Friday in Beaverton through Aug. 15.

To find a meal site near you, call 1-800-SAFENET or visit Meals are offered at the following locations.

Elementary Schools:

Aloha-Huber Park K-8, Barnes, Beaver Acres, Chehalem, Elmonica, Greenway, Hazeldale, Kinnaman, McKinley, Vose and William Walker

Middle Schools:

Cedar Park, Conestoga, Five Oaks Highland Park, Meadow Park, Mountain View and Whitford

High Schools:

Aloha, Beaverton, Health & Science School, Southridge, Sunset and Westview

In addition, lunches will be delivered to the following mobile site locations this summer:

• Beaverton City Park, 12375 S.W. Fifth St.

• Cedar Hills Recreation Center, 11640 S.W. Park Way

• Center Street Park (Monday and Wednesday only), 11895 S.W. Center St.

• Eichler Park,13710 S.W. Farmington Road

• Police Activities League, 12500 Allen Blvd.

• Howard M. Terpenning Complex, 158th Avenue and Walker Road

• Aloha Park Apartments, 875 S.W. 185th Ave.

• Kinnaman Townhomes, 17647 S.W. Kinnaman St.

• Lynmarie Apartments, 3660 S.W. 117th Ave.

• Merlo Station Apartments, 2032 S.W. Merlo Road

• Willow Springs Apartments, 3340 S.W. Doyle Place

• Wyndhaven Apartments, 230 S.W. Edgeway

Saturday lunch meals provided by St. Matthew Lutheran Church, available to all students in the Beaverton community, will be served at Barnes, Beaver Acres, and Vose elementary schools, and St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 10390 S.W. Canyon Road from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. now through Aug. 23.

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