Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to find free summer meals for kids; Awareness is key as children could miss 95 million meals this summer
WASHINGTON — All children deserve a happy and healthy summer, but as communities continue to battle the effects of the pandemic, millions of children are at risk of going hungry this summer.
No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end child hunger, is launching an awareness campaign to help families find free meals for their children and teens this summer through a bilingual text service. Parents, grandparents and caregivers can simply text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to find sites serving free meals in their neighborhood. Chef Lorena Garcia, Ayesha Curry and Big Freedia are joining the effort as campaign ambassadors.
Find free meals: text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304
During the school year, children can rely on school meal programs like breakfast, lunch, and after-school meals. But when school is closed, many of those meals disappear, making summer the craziest time of year for kids and teens. This summer, rising food and fuel prices will make it especially difficult for families to put meals on the table.
Free summer meal programs, run by local schools and community groups, are available and open to any child or teen who needs a healthy meal. But due to the expiration of pandemic child nutrition waivers, about 20% fewer dining venues will be operating this summer compared to last year. Children could miss around 95 million meals this summer. No Kid Hungry equips schools and community resource groups to serve as many summer meals as possible and advocates for policies to reduce the barriers that prevent children from being fed during the summer.
Raising awareness of the free summer meals program is key this year, which is why Chef Lorena Garcia, Ayesha Curry and Big Freedia are stepping up to raise awareness of No Kid Hungry’s texting service. They will record PSAs, amplify them on social media and more. Stay tuned to No Kid Hungry’s social media channels all summer for this content.
“As a chef, I know exactly how food and nutrition are linked to success and happiness,” said chef, author, restaurateur and TV personality Lorena Garcia. “Every child deserves a full stomach, no matter the time of year. I am proud to partner with No Kid Hungry to promote this essential service so that more parents and caregivers, including Spanish-speaking families, know where they can access nutritious meals for their children during the school closure.
“As a mother of three, it’s hard to imagine millions of children not getting the nourishment they need to thrive,” said the entrepreneur, chef, two-time best-selling author of the New York Times, philanthropist and member. the family’s national spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, Ayesha Curry. “We all have a role to play when it comes to ending child hunger, which is why we need to bring our villages together and work on the ground to have real impact. I’m so proud to partner with No Kid Hungry through our Eat. Learn. To play. Foundation to raise awareness of our essential programs that ensure all children have access to food this summer, in Oakland and across the country.
“I’ve seen the work of No Kid Hungry and the impact of summer meal sites firsthand in my hometown of New Orleans,” said hip-hop artist and TV personality Big Freedia. “Children need a full stomach to grow well and focus on being children. Summer meals give them the opportunity to do just that.
To find free summer meals for youth 18 and under, text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 or visit NoKidHungry.org/Help. Media and the general public can also access the campaign’s social media toolkit to help amplify the message through August 12.
No Kid Hungry is proud to work with partners like Citi and the Arby Foundation to help ensure kids have access to free meals this summer and year round.
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 6 children could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry works to end childhood hunger by helping to launch and improve programs that give all children the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.
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