Students who receive reduced or free lunches during the school year won't go hungry during the summer break. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the Summer Food Service Program through September.

USDA Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack says by announcing the nationwide extension now, operators of local programs that distribute the meals will have ample to time to prepare sites for pickup and delivery.

We will do everything we can to make sure children get access to healthy, nutritious meals regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.

The summer meals program provides meals at no charge for youth age 18 and under along with persons over 18 with mental or physical disabilities. The goal will be to establish sites like schools, parks, community centers, libraries, and churches where meals can be distributed in a safe environment. Meals will also be provided outside of normal group settings and times. Parents and guardians will also be able to pick-up meals in bulk to cover multiple days of feeding children.

The program was set to end June 30 but will now run through September 30. Because the summer program was just announced, sites have yet to be determined. As we get closer to summer break, locations can be found by calling 866-348-6479 or text “Summer Meals” to 97779. There is also a map locator on their meals for kids website. If you would like to host a site, the USDA has information on requirements and how to apply on their website.

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