Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lunch @ The Library - Summer Food Service Program

Tell Everyone: Free Meals for Youth!
Techsoup for Libraries: 5.30.2014 by Sarah Washburn

A recent TechSoup webinar on childhood hunger and tools to find free meals surfaced a lot of interest and ideas on how organizations can help fight hunger. (Watch the archive and download resources shared during the webinar.) If you're interested in tools to help youth in your community find free meals this summer, read on.

Of the youth who receive free and reduced meals at school, only 1 out of 6 benefit from that same program when school is out. There are nutritious free meals being served across the country in some 45,000 sites. How do we make sure everyone knows? This webinar encouraged organizations and individuals who interact with youth to spread the word loudly and broadly.

Creating a Summer Safety Net
Patrice Chamberlain from the California Summer Meal Coalition framed the issue well when she said,

It’s safe to say that those kids who are getting free and reduced lunches during the school year, when school lets out, their needs don't magically disappear during the summer.”

The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program exists to help youth under age 18 access free meals across the U.S. without stigma: no identification and no questions.  Just show up and enjoy a free meal. Nutritious, free meals are served at nonprofits, schools, churches, parks, apartment buildings, libraries, YMCAs, mobile home parks, even community pools!  READ MORE !

Find Free Summer Meals for Children in Your Community
Summer site information varies by state and will be available as the school year is ending and summer is about to begin in your community, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish speakers) to find a free, nutritious summer meal site near you.

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