MILTON-FREEWATER — The city’s school district will offer free lunches to youths during the first half of winter break.

When schools are closed some children don’t have enough to eat, Superintendent Rob Clark said Thursday.

The district’s free summer lunch program proved very popular with families struggling with food insecurity, and it made sense to see if that could be duplicated for a week in winter, he said.

Lunches will be served to 1- to 18-year-olds from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Dec. 18-22 at Central Middle School, Freewater and Grove elementary schools. The Oregon Department of Education agreed to fund the meals.

This is a first winter effort for the school district, and if it works well officials may explore adding some social and educational content to the meal time, Clark said.