Rep. Suzan DelBene talks with local parents about what they think of the Summer Meals program that aims to help hungry children. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

Rep. Suzan DelBene talks with local parents about what they think of the Summer Meals program that aims to help hungry children. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

Rep. Suzan DelBene helps feed Kingsgate kids

DelBene handed out free lunches at the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program.

Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-01) recently joined YMCA to pass out free lunches to children of low-income families at the Kingsgate Library in Kirkland.

The Summer Meals Program runs during 50 days in the summer, giving free lunch to as many as 60 children each day. The meals are for children who are on free or reduced lunches during the school year, but don’t have that option during summer break.

“Kids need balanced meals every day,” DelBene said. “I came to see how the program [is going] and what parents like and dislike about the program.”

Any child can show up for a free lunch and participate in arts and crafts activities that YMCA and library staff host. Library staff said they leave the program open to everyone so parents don’t have to worry about sticking out or being stigmatized. Staff added that they’ve received positive feedback from parents about the program.

DelBene handed out lunches, talked to parents and gave out some free book during the free lunch event on Aug. 15. She has also volunteered for Summer Meals programs at Wagner Elementary in Monroe, Juanita View Apartments in Kirkland and the Snohomish Aquatic Center during her time in Congress.

“As a legislator, we need to understand what works and what we need to change in the community,” DelBene said. “The best way for me to know that is to go out and listen to the community.”

DelBene also handed out granola bars as a snack for parents to eat while their children have lunch and read.

About one in five children regularly go hungry in Western Washington, according to Food Lifeline and 43 percent of Washington students receive free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.

The Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program helps about 850 kids every summer, giving them a free lunch and book. Throughout the state, summer meals programs have helped feed nearly 50,000 children.

The program runs Monday through Friday each week of summer, except on Sept. 3, which is Labor Day.

DelBene has showed support in Congress for feeding children as she cosponsored the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act. Additionally, during the 2014 Farm Bill, she helped Washington state receive almost $90,000 in grants to help better connect school cafeterias with local farmers and growers.

“It’s great to see everyone here,” DelBene said. “Kids who get free lunch at school don’t get that throughout the summer, even though they may need it.”

Rep. Suzan DelBene helps local kids pick out one of their free books that they receive along with a free lunch through the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

Rep. Suzan DelBene helps local kids pick out one of their free books that they receive along with a free lunch through the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

Rep. Suzan DelBene hands out granola bars as a snack for parents who brought their children to the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

Rep. Suzan DelBene hands out granola bars as a snack for parents who brought their children to the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

More than a dozen children came and went during Rep. Suzan DelBene’s visit to the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

More than a dozen children came and went during Rep. Suzan DelBene’s visit to the Kingsgate Library Summer Meals program. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo

More in Life

UW Bothell’s oldest grad, 68: ‘I loved every minute of it’

A half century after high school, Linda Ellis survived statistics and earned the respect of classmates.

Andrya Rytter, owner of Level Seven Salon in Bothell, gives Vanessa Rivera a haircut at the sixth annual Care Day at Northshore Middle School. Madison Miller/staff photo
Care Day in Bothell serves more than 800 people in need

In its sixth year, Care Day continues to serve people and families in need on the Eastside.

Northshore students advance to nationals in STEM competition

The students were from Canyon Park, Leota and Skyview middle schools.

Wheeler to speak at Northshore Senior Center

She is with theYMCA’s Earth Service Corp.

David Gray, a theatre organist from Scotland, will play a concert to benefit the Kenmore Heritage Society. All proceeds will be dedicated to bringing the history of Kenmore to the city’s three elementary schools through the StoryWalk program. Courtesy photo
Scottish organist to play benefit concert for Kenmore Heritage Society

All proceeds will go toward bringing the city’s history elementary schools through the StoryWalk program.

IHS Ted Christensen reconnects with old students at his surprise retirement celebration on June 9. Madison Miller / staff photo
Inglemoor music teacher honored for 38 years of teaching

Ted Christensen received a surprise retirement party to celebrate his almost four decades of teaching.

Animal services conducting outreach in Kenmore

License fees directly support RASKC’s mission to help animals in the local area.

Healthy summer recipes — herbs, veggies and wild fish abound

A monthly health column from the Eastside.

Dying from an overdose; not just heroin that’s killing us

A monthly column about mindfulness and health.

St. Edward environmental center could become a reality this fall

The center could be run by the state and the UW Bothell and offer science education and research.

Northshore Students Shine in State Photography Contest

Inglemoor placed first as a team overall and Bothell tied for seventh.

The Kenmore Quickies will be from July 26-28. Courtesy photo
As If Theatre Company announces first-ever short play festival

The Kenmore Quickies will be from July 26-28.