Summer Sunshine Award

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the 2017 Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program a Western Region Sunshine Award for Excellence in Community Partnerships. ( Pixabay.com photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the 2017 Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program a Western Region Sunshine Award for Excellence in Community Partnerships. (Pixabay.com photo)

The Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program has won a 2017 Western Region Summer Sunshine Award.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Region covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Alaska, Arizona, and Hawaii. The Summer Sunshine Awards "recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups who, through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)/National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO), provide nutritious meals to children during the summer months in the Western Region states."

Lake Health District sponsored the USDA Summer Food Service Program for the first time in 2017. The Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program served 2,373 meals in 44 days. It included five lunch sites and was supported by two grants and — most importantly — more than 80 volunteers. That community support is the reason Lake Health District received the award for Excellence in Community Partnerships. 

GeNam Chew, branch chief for Special Nutrition Programs in USDA's Western Region, congratulated the Lake County community in a letter to Lake Health District:

We celebrate your success in leveraging your organization’s extensive partnerships to become a new sponsor and effectively operate five summer meals sites.
— GeNam Chew, Special Nutrition Programs, Western Region

Thank you to every volunteer and partner who made the 2017 program a success!

Lake Health District is applying to sponsor the program again in 2018. Next summer will include more meal sites, more activities, and more lunches served to kids who do not have consistent access to food, especially in the summer. None of this work is possible without your help. If you are interested in being part of the Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program, contact Lake Health District grant writer and coordinator Kristi Albertson by email or by calling (541) 947-2114 ext. 398.