Food Bank of Delaware to distribute free meals to eligible children’s sites this summer

IMG_1888When school ends for the summer, so does lunch for many youngsters in Delaware. With the approach of summer vacation near, the Food Bank of Delaware is encouraging community partners to help serve free meals to children in need through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

Beginning June 10 the Food Bank, with help from thousands of volunteers, will prepare and distribute free meals to qualified children’s feeding sites throughout the state. Sites include faith-based organizations, summer camps, daycares and other centers where children congregate during the summer months. Neighborhoods are also qualified to serve meals through the program. To host a neighborhood program, an adult must contact us for an application to determine eligibility, attend a training session and submit weekly paperwork.

To qualify for free meals, sites must operate in low-income areas where at least half of the children (up to 18 years of age) are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program. There are no fees associated with the program, and meals are available seven days a week.

“No child should go hungry during the summer months,” said our President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “With the help of the community we can ensure that children receive proper nutrition when school is not in session. It is unfortunate that only a small percentage of eligible children access these free meals during the summer. We encourage all eligible organizations and neighborhoods to get involved this summer to help alleviate childhood hungry.”

Children can expect to see a menu of healthy, kid-friendly foods including peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, apples, yogurt, milk, juice and more.

Free meals are provided through the Summer Food Service Program. SFSP is a federally-funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and locally by the Delaware Department of Education.

Sites in New Castle and Sussex counties interested in hosting a summer nutrition program may contact Amanda Good, Children’s Nutrition Program Coordinator, at (302) 444-8128 or agood@fbd.org. Sites in Kent County may contact the Department of Education at (302) 735-4060.

To learn where available meals are, please call the Delaware Helpline by dialing 2-1-1.

To volunteer to help make and pack meals this summer, please visit www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

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