Hunger Coalition Facilitates Summer Meals Task Force

 Children enjoy fruit at a summer meal site

Children enjoy fruit at a summer meal site

San Diego Hunger Coalition is pleased to announce that it is facilitating the Summer Meals Task Force, a working group of the County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP). The Task Force brings together anti-hunger non-profits and USDA Food and Nutrition Service funded agencies to develop a collaborative approach to ensure that children from low-incomes homes have access to healthy food during the summer months. The purpose of the Task Force is to work to increase participation at summer meal sites, increase the number of sites, and to increase programming at existing sites.

For many children school meals are an important and reliable source of food, therefore the summer months bring an increased risk of food insecurity for many families. In addition to providing food, some summer meal sites offer activities and resources for families, including nutrition education, swimming lessons, and sports. San Diego Unified School District sponsors 58 of San Diego County’s 237 summer meal sites including libraries, schools, and nonprofit locations such as BAME CDC and Jackie Robinson YMCA. Feeding America San Diego is also a Task Force member and relatively new summer meals sponsor who will lead a peer learning session for member agencies interested in sponsoring their own sites at our upcoming meeting on August 24th.

Past Task Force accomplishments include the launch of the Summer Meal Site Locator on the 2-1-1 San Diego website; strong partnerships with broadcast and print media to promote the program, and development of a media and communications plan for countywide implementation.

The summer meal sites are just one important resource in the fight to address summer hunger. San Diego Hunger Coalition also continues to advocate for the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Card for Children (SEBTC). The Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2014 introduced by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) would bring this innovative and effective program to California and provide families eligible for free and reduced price meals with an additional $150 per child for groceries during the summer months. Please stay tuned for ways that you can help support passage of this important bill.

To learn more about the Summer Meals Task Force or SDHC’s School Meals Program, please contact Melanie Petersen at melanie@sdhunger.org or 619-501-7917.