Officials Encourage Greater Participation In Summer Meal Program
Federal and state officials are trying to get more low-income children to participate in free or reduced-price meal programs this summer.
Meals served under the Ohio Summer Food Service Program target kids who normally get free or reduced-price food during the school year. Signe Anderson of the non-profit Food Research and Action Center says the state boosted its participation rate last year by three percent, but the program reaches an estimated ten percent of students who depend on school meals. Anderson says top-performing states take meals to places where kids spend the summer months.
Anderson says meals are also offered through churches, parks and recreation departments, and Boys and Girls clubs.
The goal is to reach 40 percent of Ohio students. No paperwork is required for those who wish to participate, and there are sites in every Ohio county. A map is available at the Ohio Department of Education's website.