When school lets out for summer, millions of children lose access to school meals and can go without these vital meals. In fact, the USDA reports that only one in 10 children who are eligible for Free Summer Meals participate in the government supported program, leaving 19-million children without the food they need to nourish their growing bodies.
Anti-hunger advocates kick off the Free Summer Meals program on June 27th. Free Summer Meals will be available throughout our local communities all summer long.
“Summer meals reduce child hunger and boost summer learning — and are all paid for by the federal government,” said Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America. “They are a grand slam, game-winning goal, slam dunk, gold medal, and touchdown all in one.”
Local dairy farmers from the American Dairy Association North East region also support Summer Meals programs. “As a dairy farmer, I’m proud to support programs, like Free Summer Meals, that provide more children access to healthy meals — including milk — all year round,” said Amanda Biddle, dairy farmer, Mill Hill Farm. “We work hard to produce nutritious milk for every community.
Families can spend up to an additional $300 a month to feed children when school is out. Spreading the word and making families aware of the availability of Free Summer Meals is vitally important to the health of children and helps stretch the food budget.
Free Summer Meals are available to all children and teens ages 18 and under. No registration or ID is required. Children simply show up to receive a free meal, which includes items like milk, fruit, vegetables and more. Oftentimes sites include schools, libraries, parks, pools, and even mobile trucks.
To find a local Summer Meals site, call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY, text “summer meals” to 97779 or visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.