What We Can Learn From This Summer’s Meal Programs

Photo courtesy of San Diego Unified School District

Photo courtesy of San Diego Unified School District

During the summer months, thousands of children lose access to an important source of nutrition – school meals. It’s estimated 91,655 children in San Diego County are at risk of going hungry when school is out.

Sites in low-income areas across San Diego County offer free meals during the summer to keep these children from going hungry. Unfortunately, many kids don’t participate due to barriers like:

  • Lack of awareness
  • Difficulty accessing transportation
  • Safety concerns

The Summer School Meals Task Force helps alleviate these barriers to ensure all kids have access to summer meals when school is out. This task force is a leading resource for starting new summer meal sites and improving existing sites, with the goal of increasing participation in summer meals countywide. 

As we look back on this summer, we thank these anti-hunger heroes for their tireless work to get the word out about summer meals sites:

  • Summer Food Service Program sponsors
  • School districts
  • Park and Recreation Departments 
  • County and City Library branches 
  • YMCAs
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Childcare centers
  • County of San Diego HHSA nutrition educators
  • Service locations
  • Community partners
  • Charitable food organizations
  • Elected officials
  • Local businesses

You can see a full list of the Summer Meals Task Force participating organizations here. The final counts for number of meals served and number of service locations will be available in late 2016 from the California Department of Education.  

As we celebrate the progress we made with our partners this summer, we remain committed to overcoming the barriers that keep kids from accessing food when school is out. San Diego Hunger Coalition will also continue work to make good nutrition convenient and affordable in kids’ everyday environments during the school year

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