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June 7, 2011

Hunger Has No Summer Break

1 in 7 Utah children are at risk of hunger. Many children rely on breakfast and lunch programs that are available during the school year, but only about 20% of the 16 million children who receive free or reduce priced school lunches receive any food services during the summer months.

The Summer Food Service Program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to children in need throughout the summer. The program is targeted to low-income children who aren't receiving adequate nutrition when school is not in session. The Summer Food Service Program is aimed at offering nutritionally balanced, high quality meals. It has been on the rise since it's creation as part of a larger pilot program in 1968. Now administered by the Food and Nutrition Service agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Summer Food Service Program has achieved in providing more than 2.2 million children with nutritious meals during the summer.

The Summer Food Service Program provides opportunities to volunteer, sponsor a program, or become a vendor, but apart from all of that they need help to spread the word to organizations in the community, congressional representatives, and local government authorities. For more information, visit summerfood.usda.gov or call 703-305-2286.

(Adapted from "Summer Solutions to Child Hunger by Alison Einerson in edible Wasatch).

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