HAYWARD -- A free summer breakfast and lunch program for school-age youngsters began last week, with meals being served at more than 25 sites.

"Let's Do Lunch Hayward ... and breakfast too" is a collaboration between the Hayward school district food services department, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, area churches, Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 and the Hayward Police Department Junior Giants Baseball Program.

The goal is to ensure no child goes without breakfast and lunch while school isn't in session, said City Councilman Mark Salinas, who heads up the program with Robin Gallagher, head of Hayward Unified food services. No application is needed; kids can just show up at the sites, he said.

"Almost 75 percent of the kids in the Hayward Unified School District are eligible for the free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch program," Salinas said. "There's a big need to ensure Hayward kids continue to have breakfast and lunch when schools are not in session."

This is the third year for "Let's Do Lunch Hayward ... and breakfast too."

Sites are staffed by volunteers from Hayward-area high schools and colleges.

"In 2011, we served a little over 65,000 meals. The second year, we served over 260,000 meals," Salinas said. "At some of our sites, we're serving 300 to 400 kids."

The program runs through Aug. 9. A list of locations and times can be found by going to haywardusd-ca.schoolloop.com/fs and clicking on the "Lets Do Lunch Hayward ... and breakfast too" link or calling 510-723-3890 extension 28103. Sites with low participation could close.

Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.