Free parks programs (with food) start next week

Kids at Wapato Park can take part in free programs starting next week.
Kids at Wapato Park can take part in free programs starting next week. News Tribune file, 2011

Three free summer lunch programs are about to begin.

Metro Parks Tacoma will start its Summer Playground and Free Meal Distribution Program on Monday (June 19) and it will run through Aug. 25.

Starting on June 26 will programs run by the Fife Parks Department and the Bethel School District.

The free, drop-in playground program offered by Metro Parks will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The free meals will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. during the week.

The program will be available at these parks:


▪ Franklin Park, 1201 S. Puget Sound Ave.

▪ Portland Avenue Park, 3513 Portland Ave.

▪ South Park, 4851 South Tacoma Way

▪ Verlo Playfield, 4321 McKinley Ave.

▪ Wapato Park, 6500 S. Sheridan Ave.

▪ Wright Park, 501 S. I St.

The drop-in program will run for 10 weeks. Playground leaders will engage kids in the park with games, sports, spray-play in the spraygrounds and arts and crafts.

Meals will be available at no charge to any children 18 and younger.

Two additional “meals-only” sites will provide meals from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Aug. 25:

▪ South End Recreation & Adventure (SERA) Playground outside STAR Center, 3873 S. 66th St.

▪ Titlow Lodge at Titlow Park 8425 Sixth Ave.


Metro Parks will work with the Fife Parks Department to offer free lunches (noon to 1 p.m.) and an afternoon snack (2 to 2:30 p.m.) at Colburn Park, 5506 20th St. E., through its free drop-in playground program.

The program will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from June 26 to Aug. 17.


The Bethel School District’s lunch program is available to any child under 18.

Camas Prairie Elementary School, 320 176th St. E., and Shining Mountain Elementary School, 21615 38th Ave., both in Spanaway, will provide lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, from June 26 through Aug. 18.

Thompson Elementary School, 303 159th St. E. in Tacoma, will distribute lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on weekdays from June 26 to Aug. 18.

Children enrolled in the Spanaway Jag U program can receive lunch at Spanaway Elementary School, 412 165th St. E., from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on weekdays from June 21 through July 7.


There will no meal service for the Tacoma or Fife programs July 4. The Bethel School District schools will not provide lunch July 3 and 4, and Spanaway Elementary won’t serve lunch July 5.

For more information, go to

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell