Melissa is participating in a Twitter Party (#summermeals) on Friday, June 21, 2013 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT) with Share Our Strength / No Kid Hungry (@NoKidHungry) and the Mom It Forward network (@MomItForward) to discuss summer meals on the first official day of summer.
In addition to hearing about great money-saving summer meal ideas, you’ll learn more about the free Summer Meals Programs, a key program that helps end childhood hunger in America. Free summer meals are a way to make sure kids who typically get school meals are getting healthy food when school isn’t in session. Free, healthy meals are available to kids and teens ages 18 and under at thousands of sites across the country and the programs are funded by USDA. Learn more below. We’ll talk about ways for you to get involved in raising awareness free summer meals and ending childhood hunger and well as healthy and affordable summer meal ideas.
Use #summermeals to join the Twitter Party, and you’ll also be entered to win a No Kid Hungry prize pack.
5 Things We All Should Know About Summer Meal Programs for Kids
*Visit www.nokidhungry.org/Summer for more information.
1) Summer can be tough on family finances.
According to a recent national survey of low-income families, 43% say it’s harder to make ends meet in the summer months. Families also say, on average, their grocery bills are about $300 higher every month when kids are out of school. [No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices]
2) Summer meals are here to help.
Free summer meals are a way to make sure our kids are getting healthy food when school isn’t in session. These free, healthy meals are available to kids and teens age 18 and under at thousands of sites across the country. These sites are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, approved by state agencies, and run at safe local organizations like schools, churches and community centers. (Bonus: Many sites offer fun learning and recreational activities as well as free food, so kids and teens can stay active and spend time with friends.) [USDA Federal Nutrition Services]
3) Too many kids are missing out.
While more than 21 million kids in the U.S. rely on free and reduced-price school lunches for their nutrition during the school year, just over 3 million kids get a free summer meal. [FRAC]
4) The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids to food.
In the summer months, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is focused on making sure kids can get these important meals. The No Kid Hungry campaign raises awareness to ensure parents and kids know about the program through texting campaigns, launch events, neighborhood canvassing, social media and PSAs. These strategies to increase participation only work if there are safe, trusted, easily-accessed sites serving meals, so we also work on the state and local level to recruit new sites, with small grants to cover start-up costs and outreach staff to help them get up and running. Much of this work is done through public/private partnerships, including the Arby’s Foundation and Sodexo Foundation, the USDA, governors’ offices and No Kid Hungry partners on the state and local level. [No Kid Hungry]
5) Finding a nearby site is easy.
Go to NoKidHungry.org/SummerMeals or call 1-866-3HUNGRY to find a site and learn more or text FOOD to 877-877 to find a site near you.