Childhood hunger spikes in the summer for many children in Santa Barbara County who rely on free and reduced meals during the school year.
There are 40 places where any child 18 and under can enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal.
This summer, the coalition of schools, cities and nonprofit organizations that provide these meals are kicking off its ninth annual fun Summer Meal Concert Series, supported by No Kid Hungry.
To make it easier to find out where summer meals are served, families throughout the county can text FOOD to 304-304 to find a free summer meals site in their neighborhood. No paperwork or registration is required.
Beginning this week and throughout the summer, local musicians and DJs will perform at various sites. Additionally, local radio stations will broadcast live from the meal sites.
For the past nine years, No Kid Hungry has supported this coalition of organizations such as Santa Barbara Unified School District, Lompoc Unified School District, Goleta Union School District, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, United Way and the city of Santa Barbara.
The free Summer Meal Concert Series, with more to be added, will be held at the following times and locations:
— Today, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Washington Elementary School, 290 Lighthouse Road, Santa Barbara.
— Thursday, 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; Santa Maria Grogan Park. 1155 Rancho Verde, Santa Maria.
— June 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Alisos Elementary School, 4545 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria.
— June 29, noon to 1 p.m.; Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave., Goleta.
— June 30, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Franklin Elementary School, 1111 E. Mason St. Santa Barbara.
— July 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; McKinley Elementary School, 350 Loma Alta Drive, Santa Barbara.
For more information, visit nokidhungry.org.