Summer Meal Program Kicks Off

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DES MOINES – As the school year comes to an end, the Iowa Department of Education today released the location of the summer food program sites throughout the state.

The summer food program was created to help ensure low-income students who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year don’t go hungry during the summer months. With nearly 500 sites across the state, students will have access to meals at a variety of convenient locations, including schools, churches, community centers, parks, libraries, housing complexes and camps.

There are three easy ways to find where summer meal sites are operating:

  • Text “Food” or “Comida” to 304-304
  • Call any of these numbers:
    • 2-1-1
    • 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479), for English 
    • 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273), for Spanish
  • Visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids

“For Iowa kids and families who rely on school meals, summer can be the hungriest time of year, creating short- and long-term consequences for a child’s health, education and well-being,” said Kala Shipley, chief of the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services at the Iowa Department of Education. “Making sure kids and teens have access to nutritious meals is especially important this summer.”

The Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), administered by the Iowa Department of Education, and operated by school districts and local organizations, can be found at sites throughout the state. These sites provide nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months. Summer sites offer free meals for all children and teens age 18 and under. 

Meals will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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