The days are getting hotter in Texas, you can tell that summer is right around the corner. Although many students can’t wait until school lets out for summer, it can be a difficult time for the 2.8 million children who depend on free or reduced school breakfast and lunch. These kids often don’t know when their next meal will be, so it is important to make sure that they can access the free, healthy meals provided by Summer Nutrition Programs (also known as Summer Meals).
These summer meals programs allow sites to provide nutritious, free meals to children under 18. Unfortunately, only 13 percent of eligible children take advantage of summer programs, due in part to a lack of sites providing free meals.
If you are running a program for kids this summer at a school, church, community center, library, nonprofit, recreation center, park, day camp, residential summer camp, housing project, migrant center or Indian reservation, consider signing up for Summer Meals. Sites can serve up to two meals per day that they prepare themselves or get from an approved meal provider. Eligibility depends on the income of the kids in your program or your area.
Texas kids need access to healthy foods and Summer Nutrition Programs are a great way to help keep kids fed throughout the vacation. To make sure kids are getting fed, we need more summer meal sites where they can eat.
To learn more about how to become a meal site for the Summer Food Service Program, visit the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Summer Meals website or call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325).
- Texas Hunger Initiative: Summer & Afterschool Meal Programs
- Texas Department of Agriculture: Summer Feeding Programs
- Food & Nutrition in Texas: What You Need to Know
Contributed by CPPP Health and Wellness Policy Intern Julia Von Alexander.