Resources for summer food programs, links to interactive maps
Officials in the 4-States share summer meal information for low-income families. Many states have free meal programs anytime school is out. Below, you can find information on programs in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Summer food programs are designed to fill the nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.
States have programs, but they also work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide meals to students while school is out or closed. You can find sites on an interactive USDA map in the link above.
Also, the USDA National Hunger Hotline remains a helpful resource for people seeking food assistance. The hotline, operated by Hunger Free America, can be reached Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish).
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Summer Food Service Program is designed to provide breakfast, lunch and/or snacks to children living in eligible areas during the summer months and during times of public emergencies, when children do not have access to free or reduced-price meals at school.
An online interactive map is provided to help families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer.
Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other spots where children gather when school is not in session.
The meals are provided to all children, regardless of family income, that attend the meal service location. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.
For families without access to the internet, summer meal sites in the area can also be found by texting the phrase “Summer Meals” to the text number 914-342-7744.
Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the USDA.
Kansas has a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for kids and teens in low-income areas. It provides free meals when school is out. You can learn more at the link or in the PDF below. The sites that help provide these meals are approved SFSP sites.
The SFSP is part of the USDA program. But locally, the Summer Food Service Program is run by approved sponsors, including school districts, local government agencies, camps, or private nonprofit organizations. Sponsors provide free meals to a group of children at a central site, such as a school or a community center. They receive payments from USDA, through their State agencies, for the meals they serve to children at eligible sites. (FAQ)
Are you eligible? Find out here.
The Oklahoma Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill the nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.
“Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. Hunger also may make children more prone to illness and other health issues. The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill the nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.” – Sde.ok.gov
Children 18 years old and under, along with people up to 21 years old participating in state education programs for the mentally or physically disabled, can receive summer meals.
Meal sites are usually parks, schools, playgrounds, gymnasiums, community centers, churches, apartment complexes, or day camps. They will be approved as “eligible” during the application process.
Families without access to the internet can text FOOD to 877877 for food sites. You can also text SUMMER MEALS to 97779 for a feeding site near you.
“Less than 15 percent of children who qualify for free or reduced-priced school lunches in Arkansas are getting the same high-quality meals in the summer.” – Dhs.arkansas.gov
The USDA federally funds 100% of the Arkansas Summer Food Service Program. You can find a site near you at the link below.
The State of Arkansas is always looking for organizations to help out. In Arkansas these programs are administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, Special Nutrition Programs.
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