As the school year winds down, students and school staff look forward to all that summer vacation has to offer. A challenge that often arises for families on fixed budgets is feeding children that are home for summer break who are accustomed to being fed at school.
During the summer it is important that children continue to receive adequate nutrition to promote growth and development which gets them prepared for academic success in the upcoming school year.
The USDA Summer Food Service Program is designed to meet hunger and nutrition needs of kids when school is out by providing free meals to children who may otherwise not get enough to eat; however, the program is underutilized.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, only one in seven children who receive free or reduced-price school meals receive summer meals through the SFSP. Do these children experience hunger and malnutrition instead of rest and fun on their summer vacation?
The Roosevelt School District Child Nutrition Services Department knows the importance of continuing to offer healthy food throughout the summer months as almost 90% of RSD students qualify for free and/or reduced-price school meals. Roosevelt School District has partnered with several schools and community locations throughout the South Phoenix area to offer free, healthy meals to children and low cost meals to adults.
The Arizona heat and transportation are often barriers that make it challenging for children and families to get to summer meal sites, so RSD has made it a point to provide free meals at places where children spend their time during the summer, such as local libraries, community and recreation centers, apartment and mobile home communities, WIC clinics, and neighborhood schools.
In addition, RSD has partnered with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Maricopa County to provide fun and enriching activities for the children at many summer meal sites.
Any child 18 and younger is welcome to come to one of RSD’s summer meals sites and enjoy a meal in a cool, indoor environment. Children do not have to be enrolled in RSD to participate and most sites offer meals to adults for $1. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and supper meals are offered throughout the community and must be consumed on-site.
Rooevelt School District’s summer meals program begins on May 26th and continues through the end of July. Most sites are open Monday through Friday.
For information on summer meal sites, please visit www.rsd.k12.az.us and click on “Child Nutrition Services” from the Departments dropdown box or call (602) 305-4779. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.