Utica, NY (WIBX) - Utica's Summer Lunch Program is coming back and will continue to provide the city's students with nutritious lunches throughout summer vacation.

Starting June 25th, any child under the age of 18 may receive a free lunch containing a sandwich, a piece of fruit, juice, milk and snack.

Utica mayor Robert Palmieri says the summer food program is a great asset to the City and may help bring more people to the parks.

"When you come to the parks and these kids are able to not only provide the area for playing sports, utilizing the parks or swimming, now they have the opportunity to provide the services of nutritional food that is being supplied, at this point, through the Utica School District," Palmieri said. "I think that goes hand in hand."

Mary Kay VanDreason, food service director for the school district, says she expects to see a bump in numbers this year due to a lack of summer school offerings.

The program operates with funding from the Child Nutrition Program and is administered by the State Education Department.

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