Summer Food Service Program feeding Nebraska’s kids

In the summer of 2021, the Summer Food Service Program served 1,945,366 meals at over 500 sites across the state.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 7:26 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - One in six children in the United States worries about their next meal, according to Feeding America. To combat the troubling trend, the Nebraska Department of Education is giving out meals to children all summer.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded USDA initiative designed to serve meals to kids when they’re out of the classroom. In the summer of 2021, the Summer Food Service Program served 1,945,366 meals at over 500 sites across the state. As inflation increases the costs of nearly everything, including everyday food items, the program is once again there for families who need just a little bit of help.

“Having access to summer meals helps provide some financial security to families and households that have felt the burden the most, that’s really what the summer meals are designed to help serve,” Director of Nebraska Child Nutrition Programs, Kayte Partch said. “We want to make sure that every family has the resources it needs to raise kids who can be successful and fulfill their potential.”

The program is also designed to help kids build better lifestyles and learn the importance of eating healthier foods.

In the state of Nebraska, research shows 12.3 percent of the state’s population is food insecure. Nebraska’s kids had a food insecurity rate of 16.7 percent. It doesn’t matter the situation, any kid between one and 18 is welcome to accept food at the program.

“Anything good that comes into society is certainly born of the investment in them, by everyone that wants them to succeed,” Partch said. “I certainly think that Nebraskans belong into that group of people that want their kids to grow up to be successful and contribute to the community. I just think of summer meals as one of those ways that we sort of demonstrate that.”

There are a number of locations in the state offering free meals through the Summer Food Service Program, you can search to find the closest site by searching here. You can text “FOOD” to 304-304 for more information about the programs near you.

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