“School’s out for summer!” may be an anthem echoed by kids across the country this month, but in reality it also means that hungry children are missing their regular free school breakfasts and lunches. The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reminds us each year their annual report t “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation” that millions of eligible students do not participate in the Summer Meal Programs. In 2017, of the 20 million children who participated in free and reduced-price lunch, only 3 million received lunch on an average weekday in July and only 1.6 million ate breakfast at a summer meal site.
The good news is that the awareness is of this problem is on the rise and more school districts are serving up free meals in more locations in a variety of creative ways. Below is just a sampling of recent news stories touting Summer Meal Programs.
We suggest you keep summer simple by using prepackaged meals. Our Breakfast BREAKS and Meal BREAKS are ideal grab & go options. You can convert your Seamless Summer Option (SSO under NSLP) to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to lower meal costs, have easier menu compliance and higher reimbursements. By offering a breakfast and lunch programs instead of a lunch and snack, you can generate the highest revenue. We have a tremendous level of experience with USDA reimbursement programs—let us help you succeed in yours.
Summer Meal Program News
- In one Florida county , 91 sites and food truck offer free summer meals. In 2018, 81 locations served about 50,000 breakfasts, 98,000 lunches and 21,000 snacks. The Gainesville Sun
- Central Minnesota is growing efforts to feed hungry children over the summer. There are now about 80 free summer meal sites in St. Cloud, Minnesota, up from 40 two years ago. Across the state, there are now more than 1,000 summer meal sites, a number that has more than doubled over the past decade. St. Cloud Times
- Hospital in Charlotte, NC, offers free breakfast and lunch. Atrium Health in University City says it provided nearly 3,500 free meals last summer. WFAE.FM, Charlotte, NC
- The goal this summer for Operation Food Search in Missouri is to serve 100,000 meals to children in their operating area. Kids can text ‘FOOD’ to 877-877 for free summer meals. St. Louis American
- Several Ohio school districts are feeding students during the summer using mobile food trucks. A spokesperson for the Fairfield school district said, “We just started the program but we’re already averaging between a 100 to 110 students each day. We expect those numbers to go up as the summer (break) goes on.” The Journal News,( Hamilton, OH)
- Marieta City Schools in Georgia expect to serve upwards of 100,000 breakfast and lunches at schools and summer camps across the county this summer, an increase from 80,000 meals last summer. The Marietta Journal
- A West Virginia school district is expanding its summer meal program to 26 sites this year from 13 last year. The program served 20,000 summer meals last hear. The Exponent Telegram, (West Virginia)