Note: This a guest post from Claire Breen, Economic Justice Intern
Nebraska Summer Food Service Program Begins Now
Tools available for families to access free healthy meals during summer months
Summer is here! Nebraska’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites are helping feed Nebraskan children, ensuring everyone has the meals they need to stay healthy and be ready for classroom success in the fall.
How does this work?
The SFSP allows community organizations and schools to provide meals free of cost to children ages 18 and younger throughout summer, regardless of income.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released this map to help locate summer meal sites in your community. You can also find the closest summer meals site to you by texting “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 or calling 211.
Nebraska Appleseed is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Education to promote summer meals across the state. This partnership highlights the work of Nebraska’s site sponsors and develop future tools for increasing participation at sites. By better understanding site sponsors and participant needs, Nebraska has the potential to help feed even more kids throughout the summer.
In addition to improving nutrition for children, Nebraska’s SFSP brings federal dollars home to our state, creating greater capacity for local organizations to address hunger in their communities. However, in 2017, Nebraska served summer meals to fewer than 1 in 10 low-income students who ate breakfast or lunch during the school year, ranking 48th in the nation. This concerning data is evidence that our state must improve its efforts to fight hunger for children that have limited access to meals when out of school.
Nebraska has the ability to increase food access for thousands of low-income children for years to come by exploring solutions that could increase SFSP’s capacity across the state, including expanding the reach and number of meal sites. Community organizations can learn more about starting or supporting summer food programs from the Nebraska Department of Education and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Summer Meals Toolkit.
Don’t forget to spread the word about SFSP meal sites in your area! To receive promotional materials or if you have questions, contact our Economic Justice Program Associate Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-438-8853 ext 126.