Friday, May 27, 2011

Finding Summer Food Programs for Kids

School lunch programs end when the school year does, but the need for food goes on into vacation. In response to this, there is a summer feeding program, which funds lunch, breakfast and snack programs for children around the country. In theory, everyone should have access to food through this, but practically speaking, some people have more access than others. The US Department of Agriculture funds a summer feeding program and states distribute the funds, but they need local sponsors and places that are willing to be feeding sites. So some places have lots of coverage, and some have few or no feeding places. How can you find them if you need to?

If you’re in Lucas County, Ohio (covering Toledo), it’s a snap: go the Feed Lucas County Children’s summer feeding website with the full schedule of locations and times. Outside of that in Ohio, it gets tougher: the Ohio Department of Education has a site that is searchable by county. Senator Sherrod Brown also has a list of summer feeding sponsors in Ohio, and you could contact them for times and places. If you live in other states, there are a couple of routes you could take to investigate feeding sites near you. One is to check the agency in your state that is responsible for the summer feeding program, and see if they have a list. Or you could call the Hunger Hotline at 1-866-348-6479 and see if they know of any sites near you. Another possibility is to avail yourself of a 211 information and referral program if you live in an area that is covered by one.

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