Mayor Levar Stoney joined No Kid Hungry Virginia and partners at the Southside Community Center to celebrate summer meal programs across the Richmond area.
Anyone eighteen or under can receive free, healthy summer meals at more than 150 local locations, over seventy of which are operated by the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities.
For many kids, summer is the hungriest time of year. When schools close for the summer, school meals disappear as well. The federal Summer Meals program connects children to the nutrition they need during the summer months. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administered by the Virginia Department of Education and served by organizations families trust, like schools, libraries, faith-based organizations, and community groups, these meals make sure kids have access to healthy meals when school is out of session.
No Kid Hungry Virginia and its partners focus on summer meals as a critical way to end childhood hunger in the commonwealth. Only about 15 percent of Virginia kids who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches are also getting free meals through summer programs.
“We need to make sure more kids access healthy meals during the summer months,” said Claire Mansfield, No Kid Hungry Virginia State Director. “Summer meal sites are at safe and easily-accessible places throughout the city. Many of the locations also offer enrichment and physical activities to keep youth engaged, as well.”
To find nearby sites, families can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 and type in a zip code. This information populates once local schools are out of session and sites are up and running. No application or registration is required at sites. No Kid Hungry organizes the texting service and updates the information weekly. Locations are also available HERE.
For more information about the importance of connecting youth with meals during the summer, visit No Kid Hungry.
About Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign
No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.