Some of Atlanta’s most disadvantaged young students depend on the school lunch program to get quality meals during the day.
That’s why the city of Atlanta announced the launch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program. The federally-funded program will ensure that low-income children in Atlanta continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Atlanta will work closely with schools, churches, recreation centers, parks and camps to provide summer meals from June 1 – July 31, 2015.
“We are thrilled to launch this program, which will ensure no child goes hungry in Atlanta this summer,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “My administration is dedicated to helping our youth realize their full potential, and the Summer Food Service Program will help them to stay healthy and be ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.”
The USDA provides free or reduced-price meals to 39,000 children in Atlanta, and 22 million children nationally, during the school year through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. Additionally, the City of Atlanta provides more than 162,000 meals and snacks to kids each year at the Centers of Hope through its Hot Meals program.
“The Department of Parks and Recreation is proud to serve as a primary partner of the Summer Food Service Program, through which we can feed an additional 6,000 kids a healthy meal at one of our ten Centers of Hope, Camp Best Friends or one of our many programs and facilities this summer,” said Amy Phuong, Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals nationally – 14 million more than in 2014.
“The Summer Food Service Program is important because many children are considered food insecure. Preventing hunger is a top priority of the USDA,” said Robin Bailey, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Regional Administrator.
The Mayor’s Office of Human Services, in partnership with Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, administers and monitors the Summer Food Service Program.
For a list of summer meal sites in Atlanta, log onto https://ga.nokidhungry.org/free-summer-meals.