Spread the word: Kids eat free this summer


Staff report



COLUMBUS— This summer, the Ohio Department of Education is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program, providing children with free, healthy meals.

It’s easy to participate and no sign up is required. Simply call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (486479), visit education.ohio.gov/KidsEat or use the Department’s mobile app for meal times and locations. One local site is at the Salvation Army, 419 Buckeye St., Sidney. The Ohio Department of Education Mobile App is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, search Ohio Department of Education.

The Summer Food Service Program ensures children ages 18 and under continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer break from school, when they do not have access to school breakfasts or lunches. Children with disabilities and approved individualized education programs may participate through age 21.

“The need for healthy meals doesn’t stop when school breaks for the summer, and the Summer Food Service Program helps provide children with nourishment to make sure summer can be a time for continued learning and fun,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Instead of worrying about where their next meal will come from, our students can enjoy activities like reading, sports, playing outdoors and the growing that happens during the summer months.”

Many Ohio parents and caregivers continue to make difficult choices every day to provide for their families. In many cases, this leaves Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens, our children and youth, struggling with hunger daily.

In 2016, more than 3.95 million meals were served to Ohio children through the Summer Food Service Program with the help of approximately 1,900 feeding sites.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

Staff report