Throughout the school year, 21 million children depend on free or reduced-price school lunch for reliable nutrition.
But, what happens to those kids when they go on summer break?
The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provides free lunch (and sometimes breakfast) to children at 42,000 sites across the country during the summer months. This federally funded program has been around since the 1960s and works similarly to the National School Lunch Program.
Unfortunately, only about 15% of children who are eligible for free and reduced school lunches are finding their way to the Summer Food Service Program. In Ohio, where I live, this statistic is even worse, with only 10% of eligible kids are taking advantage of the free meals.
We can all help fix that by spreading the word to parents, families, and schools about this important program.
To find a site in your community, call 1-866-3-Hungry or 1877-8-Hambre (in Spanish) or visit www.whyhunger.org/findfood. For more details about the program, including how to sponsor or operate a feeding site, go here. If you or someone you know can benefit from this program, please reach out!