Free meals available to Idaho children
| June 24, 2022 1:00 AM
Idaho families in search of nutritious options this summer will be able to access free meals and snacks for children ages 1 to 18 in locations throughout the state with the Summer Food Service Program.
Many summer meal sites are operating now. To find the site nearest to you, text FOOD to 877-877; call the Idaho Care Line at 2-1-1; or go to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Find Meals for Kids map: www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids
“This program does so much more than provide healthy meals,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “Making our schools a central hub — even during the summer months — keeps Idaho’s students and families engaged in our educational communities. And, as we all know, although our kids take a break for the summer, hunger certainly does not.”
The Summer Food Service Program helps the State Department of Education bridge the summer nutrition gap and ensure that Idaho’s students are happy, healthy and ready to return to school in the fall to learn.
The program serves meals in areas of greatest need, with food provided by sponsors who are reimbursed for each qualifying breakfast, lunch, snack and/or supper they serve. In the summer of 2021, 58 sponsors served more than 4.1 million meals and snacks at more than 250 sites across Idaho.
The program has no income requirements. Anyone younger than 18 can receive free meals, no questions asked. Many of the meal sites also offer games and reading activities along with balanced meals throughout the day.