Today first day of YMCA’s Summer Meals program

PORT TOWNSEND — The YMCA of Jefferson County will begin its Summer Meals program today.

Summer meals will be offered free with no registration to all youth 18 and younger through Aug. 31 for Chimacum, Port Townsend and Brinnon school districts.

Quilcene School District will receive summer meals starting July 1 and extending though Aug. 31.

The first week — today through Friday — will offer only lunch.

Beginning June 29, breakfast and lunch will be provided. Backpacks delivered on Fridays will contain food for the weekend.

Meals will follow USDA guidelines and include milk, grains, fruits, vegetables and a meat or meat alternative.

Some meals will be distributed at grab-and-go sites where children can walk up or their parents can drive up to each site and volunteers will hand them meals. Other meals will be distributed via school district bus routes.

“At the Y, we want to make sure no child goes hungry during the summer, and we want to ensure there is no disruption in access to healthy foods just because the school year has ended,” said Wendy Bart, Olympic Peninsula YMCA CEO about the program offered only in Jefferson County.

“We’re very fortunate to have received funding for this program from Albertsons Nourishing Neighbors, the Jefferson Community Foundation, Jefferson Association of Realtors, and private patrons to make Summer Meals happen this year,” Bart said.

The meal distribution schedule is as follows:

Grab-and-go meal sites:

• 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday or Wednesday at the multi-purpose room at Chimacum Elementary School, 91 W. Valley Road, Chimacum, or at Chimacum Primary School, 313 Ness Corner Drive, Port Hadlock.

• 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday or Thursday at Salish Coast Elementary School, 1637 Grant St., Port Townsend, or Port Townsend High School, 1500 Van Ness St.

Meal delivery sites:

• Meals will be distributed on Monday in Quilcene and Tuesday in Brinnon via school district bus routes. Families can pick up their meals at the same stop they did with their school bus drivers. Those who miss a day of delivery can call YMCA of Jefferson County at 360-385-5811.

• Fridays, backpacks will be delivered throughout Jefferson County with a weekend’s worth of food via school district bus routes. Those who would benefit from a weekend backpack, or who know a family that would, are asked to call YMCA of Jefferson County.

Summer Meals volunteers and staff are following Centers for Disease Control guidelines for COVID-19 safety and food handling, YMCA officials said.

All staff and volunteers will receive health and temperature checks before working. All staff and volunteers also will wear masks and gloves at food prep sites and meal distribution sites.

Meal recipients are asked to keep 6 feet of distance from staff and volunteers when possible at distribution sites. Meals are available for pickup only and must be eaten off site.

Volunteers are needed. To volunteer, email volunteer@olympicpeninsulaymca.org.

For more information, email Rowen Matkins at rowen@olympicpeninsulaymca.org or call the YMCA of Jefferson County.

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