Summer Feeding Program begins in Bismarck

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Hundreds of children and parents are eating lunch for free in Bismarck's parks this summer as part of the Summer Feeding Program.

According to the Great Plains Food Bank one in five children in North Dakota don't get enough to eat, organizers hope that this program can cut that statistic down.

Who doesn't love a free lunch.

"I think it's wonderful, I think it's a huge help for moms, and I know dads enjoy this too, but summers are just kind of hectic and crazy, and schedules are all over the place so having a place that prepares lunch for you really helps things run smoothly," said Skylar Dosch, Bismarck Parent.

More than a hundred were fed at Wachter Park in Bismarck on the second day of the program. Gina Barbere the purchasing coordinator says they feed as many at just one park as they did in the whole program when they started years ago.

"Just to see the community. The parents and the kids sitting down and having a picnic together, and being able to put a smile on their faces and fill their bellies," said Barbere.

It's grown from being in two schools to seven schools and parks. Using money from the USDA they provide free food to all kids age 18 and under.

"I would hope that a lot of families would take advantage of it just for the help financially, but just for the fact that it's easier to provide your kids with a wholesome lunch," said Dosch.

They've also partnered with United Way to feed parents that show up as well. The food is provided every week day until July 26.

You can go to the Bismarck Public Schools website to find a list of locations and times at bismarckschools.org.