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Summer Food Program Provides Free Meals For Children

Release Date: June 4, 2010
Contact: Julie Henry, N.C. Division of Public Health, (919)707-5053

North Carolina children who qualify for free or reduced price school meals may be eligible for free meals during the summer. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) offers nutritious meals and snacks for children 18 and under across the state through approved summer care sponsors.

During 2009, nearly 704,000 children in North Carolina were eligible to receive SFSP meals. 

“We know that children from low-income families may be hungry when school meals aren’t available, especially during these difficult economic times,” said Cynthia Ervin, coordinator of the SFSP through the North Carolina Division of Public Health.  “The Summer Food Service Program ensures that children receive complete, wholesome meals, and offers parents help in stretching their food dollars during the summer months.”

Free meals are provided at schools, local government agencies, private non-profit organizations, parks, swimming pools, vacation Bible schools and low-income housing complexes that have been approved as SFSP sites.  Participating organizations receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide meals to complement the recreational and educational programs they already offer.

Children may go to any site to receive free meals.  No registration is required and there is no cost to children or families.  As of the end of May, more than 289 sites in 40 counties had been approved to participate.  More are being added as sponsors sign up and are approved.

For an up-to-date list of Summer Food Service Program sites and for more information participating as a provider, visit the N.C. Nutrition Services website or call the N.C. CARE-LINE at 1-800-662-7030 (TTY: 1-877-452-2514).  The list is updated every Friday.




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