During the school year, more than 21 million children rely on free and reduced school meals, but during the summer, only 3.8 million participate in the USDA’s summer meals program. This means that too many kids are at risk of hunger because they are out of school. For many students, school meals provide for over half of their daily calories during the school year, which means that providing these children with access to healthy meals is a big priority.
To help prevent summer hunger, the USDA partners with schools, local governments, and community organizations to provide free meals to children during the summer.
This means that any child under the age of 18 can go to a designated summer meal site and eat for free. But we need your help in ensuring that no child goes hungry this summer. During Summer Food Service Program Kick Off Week, observed June 1- 5, our colleagues at USDA want to invite everyone to help spread the word about this important program.
How you can help:
Be a Summer Meal champion in your community! Check out USDA’s Summer Meals Toolkit:
- Get the word out through community-based outreach
- Find info on program policy and administration
- Get ideas for planning and collaborating with stakeholders
The USDA also has a Summer Food site finder that will be updated soon.
Learn more about Summer Food Service Program.