USDA Summer Food Service Program Provides Meals for Kids

Summer isn’t fun for hungry kids. Children whose families rely on free breakfast and lunch at school may be at risk of hunger during the summer, when school meals are not available. The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was designed to help communities provide summer meals for children. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada works closely with WCSD Nutrition Services and other community partners to offer a free meal in the summer to kids in low-income neighborhoods.

There will be about 28-30 local meal sites, all in neighborhoods where schools have high numbers of free/reduced price-eligible students. Any child or youth is welcome to come get a meal; there are no applications or qualifications, no questions asked. Meals have to be eaten where served (often at parks and community centers) and kids do NOT have to be enrolled in any program in order to eat. Attached is the community flyer (2 pgs) which lists sites throughout the area.

Earlier this week, via the school mail system,  we sent neighborhood summer food flyers for each student to every school near a summer food site. Every PIF at these schools also received a stack of the same flyer. Flyers are in English and Spanish.

We’ve also been working with the WCSD Communications Office to encourage principals to make Connect Ed messages into homes of their students, post meal sites/times on their reader boards this summer, and make announcements so that all families can access this valuable meal program on weekdays during the summer break.

This valuable program is vastly underutilized. Less than 10% of students eligible for free/reduced price school meals access the free summer meal programs. As you know, children need good nutrition all year long, to grow healthy and develop normally. Healthy, well-nourished children are better prepared for school success

IF you would please forward this email to your nurses/clinical aides and counselors at local schools (especially Title I schools), they can help make sure that families who need these meals for their kids are aware of the program.

We also distribute flyers to family resource centers, Head Start classrooms, Reno Housing complexes, medical and WIC clinics, the mobile medical/dental vans, COW bus, agencies serving low-income families.  Please contact me if you have ideas for other ways to reach families with this information, and/or if you have any questions. Thank you so much.

Susan Hanigan Eckes
Director, Child Nutrition Programs
Food Bank of Northern Nevada
550 Italy Dr., McCarran, NV 89434
phone 775 785 1402 or 775 331 3663 ext 102
fax 775 331 3765

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