Free, nutritious summer meals are on the menu for Tukwila kids, teens

Tooth Fairy makes a special visit at the Tukwila Library Aug. 16!

Summer break can be a tough time for children whose families rely on free or reduced-price school meals during the school year.

A program from the Food Innovation Network, with support from the American Heart Association, is here to help.

The summer meals program runs at five Tukwila locations through Aug. 30, including the Tukwila Village Farmers Market. Open to all youth 18 years old and younger and their families, the program is free, with no need to sign-up or provide proof of identity or legal status to receive meals.

In addition to ensuring children don’t go hungry, the program is about setting them up for longterm, heart-healthy success, says Pyone Yadanar Paing, Intern, Community Impact, American Heart Association.

“We know that obesity and poor nutrition in children can lead to cardiovascular disease when they’re adults. We also know that preventing these kinds of health issues is far more effective than trying to treat them once they’re chronic,” Paing explains, encouraging families and the community to stop by at the Farmers Market on Wednesdays.

Meal time is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 14350 Tukwila International Blvd., by the Tukwila Library, with chefs and volunteers from the Food Innovation Network kitchen preparing tasty, nutritious meals for kids and their caregivers. Recognizing the diverse nature of our community, meals are also culturally sensitive, including halal-friendly options, Paing notes.

Beyond healthy food, the program is also about bringing the community together. And, because good oral health goes hand-in-hand with good nutrition, that includes a special visit from the Tooth Fairy next week!

Presented by Delta Dental of Washington as part of their vision for a cavity-free Washington, the Tooth Fairy will visit the Tukwila Library Aug. 16 from 4:30 to 5 p.m, ahead of the summer meals at the market.

Ideal for kids ages 5 to 9, the presentation includes a dental-themed storybook reading, hands-on educational activities focused on the importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles, a free dental health kit (including toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, lip balm and a two-minute timer to help kids remember to brush for two minutes twice daily) and a copy of the Tooth Fairy storybook.

Other summer meals program in Tukwila include:

  • Cascade View Community Park, 14211 37th Ave. South – Meal times are Monday to Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and from 1:45 to 2 p.m.
  • Foster High School, 4242 South 144th St. – Meal times are Monday to Thursday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and 11 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. South – Meal times are Monday to Friday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Tukwila Elementary, 5939 South 149th St. – Meal times are Monday to Thursday from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and from 12 to 12:30 p.m.

Learn more at the American Heart Association’s website here. You can also locate other meal sites here.

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