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A Summer with Heart: Your Guide to Summer Foods in the East Valley

This year we will be posting our updated “A Summer with Heart: A guide to loving and living in AZ when the temperatures rise” as individual posts instead of an e-book. We want to make this more interactive this summer and hope that if you have an idea you want added, or you want to link to a post you have personally done on a particular venue or event, just leave us a comment or send an e-mail to iheartmesa@gmail.com. I will then update each section as needed and make a notation at the top of each post as to when the last update was. We know that this summer guide can be an even greater asset to our community with your input.

Read our Water Guide here.

Updated: 6-5-12

Free Summer Meal Program at Mesa Public Schools: Anyone 18 years of age or younger can eat breakfast and lunch for FREE. Adults can eat breakfast for $1.25 and lunch for $3.00 There are numerous locations participating from elementary schools, junior highs, high schools, even several parks will offer sack lunches. Most sites offer meals through the end of June, and a select few run through the beginning of August. So check out their website for a location near you. Last year for my oldest twins’ 5th birthday they wanted to eat lunch with all their cousins at school. Their favorite was the chocolate milk in a carton.

This is a state and federal program and therefore is offered at numerous locations throughout the state.  See here for all locations.  

Kids Eat Free Restaurants: There are many restaurants around town that offer free meals for kids (with a paying adult). Waldo’s BBQ (one of our favorites) at 4500 E. Main St. in Mesa offers 1 free kids meal with each paying adult Mondays through Thursdays. Check out these two sites for more options here and here.

Or several restaurants have special daily deals. Thank you to the Facebook friends that offered suggestions for this section (Please call ahead to double check the location nearest you and to verify the promotion is still running.)

Monday nights if you ride your bike to ZoYo Frozen Yogurt it's 25% after 5:00 PM.  

Tuesday is Taco Tuesday at many places around town:  $1 tacos at Filibertos, 3 Tacos for $1.09 at Del Taco, Cafe Rio Tacos are $1.50, Rubio's fish tacos are $1.50 after 3:00 PM, and Two Hippies Beach House does 85 cent chef's choice tacos.

Wednesday get a kid's Wacky Pack for $1.99 at Sonic. Or wear your pajamas to ZoYo Frozen Yogurt and get half off your frozen yogurt after 5:00 PM.  Waldo's BBQ has plenty of daily deals including all you can eat ribs on Wednesdays.    

Serrano's offers half off appetizers before 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.  Some suggest a meal of just appetizers.  

Sonic also has their famous happy hour everyday from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM with half off drinks and slushes and 50 cent corndogs.  After 8:00 PM through the summer get half off shakes.  

Little Caesar's has $1 breadsticks on Monday and Tuesday and if you use your debit or credit card, you will get a coupon for a free breadsticks on your next visit. 

Or Taco Bell offers 3 free tacos with a large drink purchase the day after the Diamondbacks score over 6 runs in a game.  Circle K usually has a deal if there were 9 strike outs.  

And because fresh is always best, check out these places to get homegrown food:

The Freeman Corn Patch is now open! Located at 945 N. Center (southeast corner of Brown and Center). Open Monday – Saturday from 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM until July 4th. Enjoy fresh corn, watermelon and other homegrown produce.

Every Thursday is SuperFarm at Superstition Farm.  Enjoy a farmers market right on a working dairy farm!  From 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM enjoy the chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy.  Also enjoy dinner from their SuperTruck food truck or reduced rates on hayrides, petting zoo, horse rides and more.  Read about my personal visit to Superstition Farm here.

I have also LOVED getting boxes of fruit from the fruit lady.  This summer you can enjoy Utah cherries and apricots.  Email her at azfruitlady@yahoo.com to ask questions or to place an order.  To get all the details, read our post here.

Maybe you want locally grown fresh produce delivered right to your doorstep?  Read our online review of the Backyard Farmer here and see how you can simplify your summer with a yummy and fresh delivery.

One of my personal favorites of places to shop for inexpensive produce is the Superstition Ranch Market located at 4755 E Main St, Mesa, AZ.  I've been going here for probably over 20 years.  Open 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM on Sundays.  The summer is when I stock up on inexpensive fruits from here to freeze for smoothies.  Just be wary, produce from here can spoil quickly, so don't overbuy.   

You can also read our East Valley Farmer's Market guide here.

Please let us know if you have anymore deals or info to add to this list.  Enjoy!


David Crummey said...

It's not just Mesa Public that is doing the Summer Food program!

The Arizona Department of Education has a great website that allows you to search for sites nearby:

Come July, many school sites do not offer food, but there are many other sites that do! (Like ours at the Mesa Boys & Girls Club). Thank you for helping spread the word of this great community resource sponsored by ADE and the USDA.

iheartmesa said...

Thanks David!

Paulette, Jvona & Rachel said...

I just found your blog and will be following you in my Google Reader. Looks like lots to learn about my new home town of 9 years.Thanks.

Paulette, Jvona & Rachel said...

I just found your blog and will be following you in my Google Reader. Looks like lots to learn about my new home town of 9 years.Thanks.