Local counties offering free summer meals for kids

Summer means school is no longer in session, and although it's a fun time for kids, it sometimes can be a challenge for parents who rely on their children getting meals.

"A lot of children they go to school every single day dependent on meals that are provided during the school day. When summer lets out it can be a hassle and a scary thought for some families on how they're going to be able to provide meals to their kids for the summer," explains Sarah Kilby, a Program Specialist with Maryland's Office of Community Nutrition Programs.

But this summer, it's no longer an issue parents have to worry about. There are places all over the Eastern Shore offering free summer meals, including Talbot County Public Schools through the Summer Food Service Program, No Kid Hungry, and Md. Dept. of Ed. 
"This year for the first time we're actually open the first day after summer school and we're going all the way to August 30th," says Vickie Mueller, Sodexo General Manager. 

Any kid 18 and under can go to any site near them and pick up a free nutritious meal.

"There is no registration, there is no sign-in sheet as long as you are hungry and ready to hang out for a little bit and have a meal anyone could come," adds Kilby. 

Mueller says, "At Easton Middle School for breakfast we're doing about 80 or 90 kids in the morning and we're doing about 200 for lunch." 

It's a way to make sure no kid goes hungry, that every kid leaves with a belly full of a wholesome, nutritious meal.

"There are so many kids that are hungry out there and we just want to make sure that they get the food that they need and we're just excited to be able to provide that for them." 

To find locations near you that are serving free summer meals, you can either call 211 and it will connect you with an operator who will give you a site that's close to you.

You also can text FOOD to 877877 or go to mdsummermeals.org.

Categories: Local News, Maryland