Summer meal programs in full swing
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Meal Programs offer free meals for all children and teens age 18 and under? No application or registration is required. Simply stop by one of the open sites statewide and enjoy a free, nutritious meal or snack from June through August.
The program is designed for families who rely on school meals throughout the year. When school is out, the summer months can be particularly stressful on family food budgets. Providing good nutrition for children can be especially challenging when the regular school session ends.
The summer meal programs will operate at about 500 meal sites across Iowa and have historically served nearly 1.3 million meals/snacks to children during the summer. Each site is administered by a local sponsor, including schools, churches, local cities and other private non-profit community organizations. Many sites offer learning and recreational activities for children as well.
Participating at a summer meal site saves families time and money by reducing the need to grocery shop, meal prep and clean up after meals. The summer meal programs help ensure children have access to nutritious meals when school is not in session and helps support local schools and communities.
There are three easy ways to find a meal site in your area:
Text “Food” or “Comida” to 304-304
Call any of these numbers:
1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479), for English
1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273), for Spanish