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Participation up by 1,000 this year
From left, Arveen Birdi and Courtney Lopez, who are summer interns for Manteca Unified Nutrition Services, get youngsters to engage in fun activities following the free lunch program.

Everybody loves hot dogs.

At least that was the consensus Tuesday at Shasta Park during the serving of the federally-funded Summer Lunch Program operated by the Manteca Unified Nutrition Services.

By the way, the menu was chicken, cooked and served hot off the grill.

“The chicken sandwich is also good,” said Courtney Lopez, a Manteca High junior and summer intern for Nutrition Services.

She and Sierra High sophomore Arveen Birdi are both helping out this summer with the free lunch service program.

“We get to play with the kids,” said Birdi, who helped show youngster how to do the Hula Hoop.

Physical activity is the other part of the nutrition equation.

Birdi and Lopez try to make that part of it fun for the kids after assisting in the serving their lunches at the various parks.

According to Stephanie Huff, who is the Nutrition Services Supervisor, the summer lunch program has been streamlined, from 38 of a year ago to 30 sites in Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp and Stockton’s Weston Ranch community.

The summer programs of Give Every Child a Chance and the local Boys & Girls Clubs are also piggy-backing on this service.

“We have about 1,000 more this year [than the previous],” Huff said.

No registration or identification is needed for the free summer lunches available to those ages 2 through 18.

The meals this week consisted of hot dogs, cheeseburger and chicken sandwiches served up with a nutritional side offerings.

The lunches are delivered in vans -- look for the MUSD Nutrition Education logo -- and must be eaten on the premises.

The parks provided a great setting for picnics.

The lunches will be served every Monday through Friday for the exception of July 4-5, from now through July 29.

In addition, MUSD Nutrition Services will again be take part in the Family Wellness and Safety Expo scheduled July 19 at Sierra High.

Manteca locations for the summer lunch program are as follows:

11 to 11:20 a.m. — Roberts Estates Park on Rail Street, Union West Park on Parkview Street, Raymus Park on Apache Drive, Colony Park on Trailwood Avenue, Diamond Oaks Park on Pestana Avenue, Doxey Park on Northgate Drive, Baccileri Park on Stockton Street

11:30 to 11:50 a.m. —Northgate Park on Hoyt Lane, Tesoro Park on Tesoro Drive, Greystone Park on Agate Avenue, Sequoia Park on Wawona Street,  Franciscan Park on Elm Avenue,  Villa Ticino Park on Geneva Way, Sandpiper Village Park on Pennebaker Avenue,

Noon to 12:20 p.m. — Giles Memorial Park next to the Boys & Girls Club on Alameda Street, Chadwick Square Park on London Avenue, Library Park on Center Street, Lincoln Park on Powers Avenue, Woodward Park on Woodward Avenue, Shasta Park on Edison Street  

Lathrop locations are:

11 to 11:20 a.m. — Sangalang Park on Slate Street, Libby Park on Libby Lane, Generations  Skate Park across from Lathrop High

11:30 to 11:50 a.m. — Park West Park on Shelter Cove Circle

Noon to 12:20 p.m. —  Mossdale Landing Park on Towne Center Drive, Valverde Park on Fifth Street

Weston Ranch locations are:

11 to 11:20 a.m. —Paul E. Weston Park on EWS Woods Boulevard

11:30 to 11:50 a.m. — Smith Park on Moss Boulevard,  Long Park on Woodchase Lane

Noon to 12:20 p.m. — Weston Ranch Library on French Camp Road,   

The French Camp locations are from 12 to 12:20 p.m. at the two migrant farm housing parks.

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