USDA works to resolve Summer Hunger amongst children

Posted by Meagan Banta-Lewis on
USDA

Free and reduced lunch is a program utilized by more than 21 million children throughout the school year. For many children, these meals are sometimes the only nutrition they receive throughout the day.

But what happens when the summer rolls around? 

During the summer, only 3.8 million participate in the USDA’s summer meals program. That is a gap 17.9 million children nationwide. The USDA has partnered with schools, local governments and community organizations to help fill that gap and the bellies of those missing kids.

Without the proper nutrition, children are more prone to illness and other health issues. According to the USDA, children that lack proper nutrition during the summer are likely to develop unhealthy eating habits that will cycle into poor performance once school begins again.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is meant make sure children get the nutritious meals they need during the summer months.

For families eating on a budget, visit the PBS parents website to get some tips on how to plan nutritional meals without breaking the bank. Some tips include:

  • Choose low-cost resources of protein.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers quickly.

Kids under the age of 18 are eligible to go to a designated summer meal site and eat for free. Find a SFSP site in your area by calling the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE.

For further information visit the USDA website