Summer Meals for Kids | June 13, 2012
Summer vacation means the Summer Food Program is back in gear. The USDA wants to ensure children have easy access to Summer Food Service Program sites across the state. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Summer Food Service Program supports free breakfast, lunch and supper meals, as well as snacks, for hungry children in communities throughout Idaho.
For many children, the end of the school year is the beginning of a summer filled with fun and relaxation, but for some children this is a difficult time of year for them to get the nutrition that their bodies need. Many children from low-income families are struggling to put food on the table and this is especially difficult when they no longer have access to school breakfast and lunch programs. In these situations, Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) can fill in a critical gap.
Hunger does not take a summer vacation. Thanks to a variety of SFSP sponsors, North Idaho children can enjoy healthy meals at schools in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls. In 2010, 66,628 (16.3 percent) of Idaho children were considered food insecure. We are the 33rd highest rate in the country.
Summer meals began this week and many families do not know where the free summer meals for children are served. That’s why outreach and awareness are so important. Here are the summer meal sites in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls that are FREE to all children, no applications necessary:
Post Falls High School
Post Falls Middle School
River City Middle School
While feeding children is the top priority of the Summer Food Service Program, programming is what keeps children coming back. This takes volunteers – and lots of them – especially in June, July and August. Volunteers can help with basics like transporting food, setting up or cleaning up a site – they also plan and do educational or recreational activities with the children. Food insecurity affects our most vulnerable Idaho neighbors; supporting Summer Food Service Programs is an important way to help them.