For nearly 40 years, the Summer Food Service program has played an indispensable role in feeding hungry kids in Oregon during the summer.

For nearly 40 years, the Summer Food Service program has played an indispensable role in feeding hungry kids in Oregon during the summer.

More than places for kids to access nutritious meals, the best summer food sites are hubs of learning and social-emotional development, where kids are immersed in enriching activities and play with their peers.

These are critical tools for avoiding the summer learning slide, and kids return to school ready to learn.

The program is designed to feed kids where they are in the summer, whether at parks, libraries, schools or community centers. While challenges persist, successful sites often draw support from public-private partnerships, and communities think up creative ways to reach kids. One Oregon town leveraged grant funds to reconfigure a school bus into a mobile lunchroom to better reach kids. Everyone in Jackson County has a role to play in building successful sites that can serve as a model for other communities. To get involved in building successful program in your region, contact us:

While addressing the urgent need to feed kids nutritious meals in summer, the summer food program creates an opportunity to build a richer summer experience for kids from families struggling with economic instability. — Lesley Nelson, child nutrition outreach specialist, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon

Hats off to Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Alan Bates for crafting a health care model that is doing exactly what it is supposed to and after only one year of operation.

The system is designed to help people stay healthy rather than to just receive sick care, to help them not use the emergency room needlessly, and this is saving money and improving outcomes. These savings will be reinvested in the system to help cover the cost of extended population care.

Using the emergency room is the way most uninsured obtained their health care, and the system now has processes and people in place that educate people about a better way to receive care; through primary care practices. I know this first-hand, having had a family member who, even though now insured, continued to try to get care through the emergency room and was spoken to by a young woman who helped him to sign up for a primary care doctor. — Andrew Axel, Medford

I am researching Grandma's Trout Farm, which operated in the Little Applegate River canyon from 1948-1976. People went there to camp out or stay in rustic cabins to go fishing, learn to fish, tie flies and swim in the trout ponds and river.

Grandma's was a popular place to spend a few days in the summer and catch your dinner. If you or anyone you know has memories or photos of Grandma's Trout Farm, please contact me at Thank you. — C.B. Thomas, Jacksonville

This is addressed to the person who stole our $300 while we were shopping at Michael's on Sunday, June 29. That money was our 4H club's money to go to the fair. We were shopping for decorations for our horse stalls.

We sure hope you really needed that money. — Barbara Kozol, Sis Q Saddlesitters, Medford