MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Feeding the Gulf Coast is offering free meals to children, ages 18 and younger, this summer.
The Summer Meals program is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, and Feeding the Gulf Coast will be partnering with local community organizations to offer the free meals.
They operate the program every summer, which helps fill nutritional gaps for children who are out of school during the summer months and don’t have access to free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school.
Feeding the Gulf Coast has provided more than 324,900 meals and snacks to children across their service area since schools started closing March 13th due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parents or guardians looking for meals for children, 18 and younger, can text the word “FOOD,” or “COMIDA,” to 877-877 to find a distribution site.
FULL NEWS RELEASE:
July 13, 2020 – Feeding the Gulf Coast is partnering with local community organizations to offer free meals to children, ages 18 and younger, this summer through the Summer Meals Program. The program is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is designed to fill the nutritional gap that is left when children are out of school during summer months and do not have access to free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school.Feeding the Gulf Coast
“Each summer we operate the Summer Meals Program,” said Eugenie Sellier, Child Nutrition Programs Director at Feeding the Gulf Coast. The program typically kicks off at the end of May, but with schools closing early, we knew we needed to quickly launch the program to ensure that children in need had access to meals. We are partnering with over 78 sites this summer in Alabama to provide 3,621 meals on a daily basis. Our goal is to ensure that all children have access to nutritious food during the summer. We know that parents do not always have the resources to provide healthy meals for their kids.” Since March 13 as schools began closing, Feeding the Gulf Coast has provided more than 324,900 nutritious meals and snacks for children across our entire service area.
Over 40,640 children are food-insecure in our Alabama service area. The far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 have created an increased struggle for families who are trying to balance a new normal while children are out of school for the summer. Additionally, due to CDC restrictions on communal gatherings, several of our long-time sites have not reopened leading to a decrease in site partners. If interested in becoming a site partner, please visit our website at www.feedingthegulfcoast.org.
This program has a significant impact on children and families during the summer months across the Central Gulf Coast. Last summer, Feeding the Gulf Coast served 257,099 meals and snacks to over 8,600 children in Alabama alone, and nearly 432,445 meals to children across the Central Gulf Coast at area churches, schools, parks and community centers.
As families are faced with an increased need for food due to lost jobs, hours and wages, or facing
self-quarantine requirements, the “Find Help” feature available at www.feedingthegulfcoast.org is the best source of information for families and individuals seeking assistance. Individuals can also call (888) 704-FOOD.
Parents and caregivers seeking meals for children, ages 18 and younger, can text the word “FOOD”
(or “COMIDA”) to 877-877 to find distribution sites near them.
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