As school nutrition professionals we already know that hunger doesn’t take a vacation. Holiday breaks and summer vacation in particular mean extended periods without food for too many students.
This week schools and agencies across the county have been celebrating Summer Meals Awareness Week with stories, resources, and messages of support for summer feeding programs. We’ve been tracking them all via social media, and today we’ll share some of our favorites with you.
In the News
Released earlier this month, FRAC’s latest summer feeding report indicates that nearly 1 in 6 low-income children receive summer meals. This kicked off a week of summer meals media coverage highlighting the need for increased access to summer meals for our nation’s low-income youth.
On the other hand, our Google Alerts were also flooded with amazing stories about the successful summer feeding programs around the country. Some of our favorites include:
- St. Paul Public Schools Roll Out Mobile Food Truck for Summer Lunch Program—Mobile feeding—trucks, trailers, busses, and the like—are excellent ways to reach kids in the summer months.
- N.M. Summer Program Expected to Serve 2M Summer Meals—In New Mexico, where summer feeding has expanded by 7.5 percent since 2010, summer meals are crucial; NM provides more meals per capita to low-income children than any state in the country.
- USDA meals will feed 5000 Coahoma County youngsters this summer—This story out of Mississippi caught our eye not only because 5,000 low-income kids will have access to summer meals, but because at school locations additional services like tutoring and art classes will be provided.
Summer Meals Resources
Naturally our first stop is the USDA website. Over on the USDA blog, Armando Vasquez, Public Affairs Specialist, penned a short piece on Closing the Hunger Gap for Kids in Rural America. We also took a look through the summer meals archives on the USDA blog—there are lots of great relevant links and information to be found!
National Summer Food Service Program Week has its own resource page as well, where you will find handouts, press releases, and more information on the SFSP Program.
Make sure to check out the USDA’s Summer Meals Site Finder, which helps you locate feeding sites by city, zip code, or address; the database will be updated weekly, and can be accessed in English or Spanish.
Support Summer Meals
You can support summer meals in many ways. Get involved locally with a feeding organization, or contact your local school or district and ask about summer feeding in your area, and how you can help.
You can also contact your elected representatives to express support for funding for summer feeding programs. Appealing directly to your elected officials about the programs you care about truly makes a difference—get involved today!