State education officials this week announced that four sites in Burbank and one in Glendale will participate in government programs to feed lower-income schoolchildren through the summer.
The two federally funded programs extend school lunch programs into summer, said Carol Mercado, a supervisor in the Burbank parks and recreation department, providing an important source of nutrition during the months-long school break.
"It provides a meal for many kids who would not get a decent meal during the day," she said.
In Burbank, the free lunches are distributed to anyone younger than 18, Mercado said. The new Horizons Family Center is the sole Glendale-based participant to date, according to the state Department of Education.
"The economic downturn has made feeding the family quite a challenge," California Supt. Jack O'Connell said in a statement. "There are still places for families to take their kids and certain adults for a free, nutritious meal."