June 30, 2015
Online map help families locate local summer food programs
Free meals will be served to low-income children at hundreds of locations in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers an online map that can help low-income families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer.
The interactive map pinpoints hundreds of locations in Missouri where meals will be provided through the state health department's Summer Food Service Program.
Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs and other spots where children gather when school is not in session.
The meals are provided to children who receive free or reduced price meals during the regular school year. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.
"When school is out for the summer, children who receive meals at school are at risk of not getting the nutrition they need," said Gail Vasterling, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "This map makes it easier for families to find out where their children can receive nutritious meals during the summer months. We know good nutrition is essential for effective learning all year long."
The map is located at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp/. The map can be searched by city, county or zip code. For families without access to the Internet, many community libraries have computers the public can use free of charge. More information is also available by calling, toll-free, 1-888-435-1464 or through RELAY MISSOURI for the Hearing and Speech Impaired at 1-800-735-2966.
Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals' age 18 to 21 that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.
Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Organizations interested in providing meals through the program can also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Department of Health and Senior Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.