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Free Summer Meals for Kids

Summer Meals

Summer is a critical time for children’s academic and physical well-being.  During the summer children are at a higher risk of both obesity and hunger.  Summer meals programs, which include the Summer Food Services Program and the Seamless Summer Option/National School Lunch Program, provide free summer meals for kids and can become an important source of nutritious food for children and youth during this time.  Offering free, nutritious meals also provides an incentive for children to participate in summer enrichment programs, which means that children are not only well-fed, but in a safe environment engaged in academic and recreational activities.

Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act

On August 5, the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators John Boozman (R, AR), Mitch McConnell (R, KY), Michael Bennet (D, CO), Sherrod Brown (D, OH), Joe Donnelly (D, IN) and Mark Kirk (R, IL). 

This legislation allows communities to adopt program models to reach more children during the summer months specifically through two policies. In areas where the current summer meals program is ineligible or hard to operate, the bill provides states the option to implement summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or non-congregate feeding. These two options are focused on reaching children in hard-to-reach communities who are most underserved by the current program. For more information, you can find a summary of the legislation here or read the full bill text in its entirety. 

The big news is that bill could help end summer hunger for millions of kids across the country – and there are three actions you can take to help:

1. Show your organization’s support for this legislation by signing on to our statement of support: SIGN ON HERE

2. Call your Senators to share your support for this bill and ask them to co-sponsor using the information here

3. Tweet at your Senators asking for their support by visiting this link 

Summer 2014: Action and Impact

*Data shows increase of meals in 2014 compared to 2013. SFSP data provided by USDA; grants data provided by grantees.

Learn more about what happened in No Kid Hungry Campaign states on our 2014 Summer Results page