There is free lunch: Nevada County Food Bank delivers meals to kids |

There is free lunch: Nevada County Food Bank delivers meals to kids

Volunteers handed out free, healthy lunches to kids living at low-income apartment complexes throughout the county Monday, the first day of the Nevada County Food Bank's summer lunch program.

Meals will be delivered Monday through Friday each week until the end of August at six apartment complexes and a new YMCA summer camp.

John Candelaria, who became executive director in March, said he first started working for the Food Bank as a volunteer for the summer lunch program in 2007. He was inspired by the positive reactions he saw from hungry kids to whom he delivered meals. Candelaria said he is looking forward to carrying on the tradition, now in its 18th year.

Many of the children participating in the program receive free lunches at their schools, but during the summer they are often left at home while their parents work and don't have access to a nutritious meal, Candelaria said.

"You don't have to be homeless to be hungry," he said.

It is the Food Bank's mission, he said, to ensure that every child in Nevada County has access to healthy food.

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The summer lunch program serves meals between noon and 1 p.m. at Oak Ridge Apartments, Glenbrook Apartments, Nevada Woods Apartments, Valley Commons and Springhill Gardens I and II. Children are not required to live at those apartment complexes to show up and receive a free meal if they are in need, Candelaria said.

Program Manager Miko Cuniberti said the Food Bank is always looking for volunteers and sponsors to help make and serve the meals.

"It's a great opportunity to stay connected to the community and do something to give back," she said.

Volunteers spend the morning making sandwiches and packaging lunches before loading up the meals for delivery.

The summer lunch program is funded by both United Way of Nevada County and the Food Bank.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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