Summer is here, and the sunny days, backyard BBQs and delicious summer fruit of the season should be something we all can look forward to. But for too many children in the U.S., summer means hunger. When summer break begins, millions of children will go without the lunches and breakfasts supplied by in-school meal programs during the school year. No child should go hungry this summer, and so WhyHunger is once again supporting the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.
Celebrating its 40th year, the Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious meals that contain milk, two different servings of fruit or vegetables, a grain, and a protein to kids across the country. These free meals are available to children all summer long and can be accessed at local centers such as schools, churches, parks, recreation centers, playgrounds and summer camps.
Find your closest Summer Food Service Program summer meals site:
- Call our National Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5HUNGRY (1-800-548-6479) for service in both Spanish and English. The hotline is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00am EDT to 6:00pm EDT
- Download Range, a free mobile app that provides to a database and maps of places that serve Summer Food Service Program meals
- Use the USDA website’s interactive map
Want to share this resource with families in your community? Here are some ways you can help us spread the word:
- Download and distribute our Summer Food Service Program flyers at your local community centers, schools and libraries
- Add a banner to your blog, website or social media pages
- Ask your local radio station to play a free Public Service Announcement about the Summer Food Service Program
You can find these materials, and more, at whyhunger.org/outreach
During the school year, more than 21 million children rely on free and reduced priced meals provided by the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, but only 3.8 million participate in USDA’s summer meal programs. Spreading the word about these programs is a great way to help families ensure their children have access to safe, healthy meals when school lets out.
Help us make this summer a fun and healthy one for all children, so they are ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.