Georgia: How To Find Free Summer Meals For Kids This Summer
Parents looking for free summer lunch for their children now have an easy way to find locations near them. Text the word "FoodGA" to 877-877 and enter your address when prompted. The system will send information on the three closest locations to you. Or you can call 2-1-1, United Way's helpline for site locations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers free summer meals to kids across Georgia similar to school lunch and breakfast programs, except meals are free to all kids ages 18 and younger who come to a summer meals site registered through the USDA. Summer meal sites are located at safe locations throughout the community.
"3,000 walk-in or mobile sites are operating in Georgia this summer. That is a great start, but we need more churches, schools and nonprofits to participate in this program," said Danah Craft, Executive Director of the Georgia Food Bank Association. Nearly 60 percent of children enrolled in Georgia's public schools are eligible for free or reduced lunch, but only 15 percent of them participate in summer meal programs.
This texting system is part of the Georgia Food Bank Association's "Feeding for a Promising Future – No Kid Hungry® campaign" in Georgia. This campaign is a partnership between GFBA and Share our Strength to end childhood hunger in Georgia by increasing access to summer and afterschool meal programs that are participating in the USDA's nutrition programs. Nonprofits, churches and schools who enroll in the program can receive reimbursement for the meals served.
The campaign also provided $42,000 in grants to 14 organizations in 10 counties to help them expand the number of children they served this summer.
The Georgia Food Bank Association's "Feeding for a Promising Future – No Kid Hungry campaign" is generously sponsored by the Arby's Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Walmart. The Georgia campaign is part of the Share Our Strength's national No Kid Hungry campaign, which is supported by Share Our Strength core partners ConAgra Foods Foundation, Food Network and Walmart.
To learn more about the Georgia "Feeding for a Promising Future – No Kid Hungry campaign", visit NoKidHungry.org/Georgia and to learn more about the Georgia Food Bank Association and see a map of open summer meal sites, visit http://georgiafoodbankassociation.org/find-your-food-bank/find-a-summer-feeding-site/