Summer should be a time of fun and exploration, but often many children are left without the nutrition they need because the end of school means the end of school meals. According to the USDA, more than 21 million children lose access to free or reduced-cost meals once the school year ends. To make sure children in the Waverlies and Upton/Druid Heights neighborhoods have food year-round, the Y of Central Maryland is offering free healthy meals and snacks through its summer food program, made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.
The Y has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to address child hunger with a focus on increasing participation in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals to children under age 18. According to the Food Research and Action Center, only in one in seven children who depend on free or reduced-cost meals during the school year received meals though the SFSP last summer. This summer, more than 300 Ys nationwide will offer summer food programs with a collective goal to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 100,000 children. In Baltimore City, the Y plans to serve 440 meals to help 350 children stay well-nourished.
The Y will offer the free summer meals at The Y Journeys Camp in Waverly and The New Horizons II program in Upton/Druid Heights.
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