Local families dependent on free and reduced-price school meals could find it harder to keep their children fed this summer.
The city of Burbank will not be offering its summer parks program and complementary free meals due to budget cuts, officials said. In the past, the program has operated at four sites, including McKinley and Miller elementary schools and Lundigan and Maxam parks, serving more than 8,500 meals.
Roughly one third of Burbank Unified’s 16,670 students qualify for free and reduced-price meals, which are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Technically, nutritional support continues during summer school, but for the third consecutive year, the district will offer only a heavily scaled back program due to budget constraints.
That could leave many low-income students and their families scrambling for alternatives.
In Los Angeles County, just one in six students who receive free or reduced-price meals during the academic year do so during summer break, according to California Food Policy Advocates, a public policy organization dedicated to food accessibility.