Delaware kicks off free summer meal program



SEAFORD, Del. – As the famous Alice Cooper song goes, “School’s out for summer”.  And that means in Delaware the state’s summer meal program can finally get started.

A food truck helps Seaford’s Summer Meal Program by bring healthy food right into kids’ communities once school is out. But the great thing is that Delaware’s Summer Meal Program is available statewide and organizers tell 47 ABC it has such an amazing impact on communities.

“They really look forward to having these meals. When they come to the truck it just improves their overall state,” says Bill Mengel, the supervisor of Seaford School District Nutrition Services.

Delaware’s Summer Meal Program is kicking into high gear, making sure no child goes hungry.

“Once summer hits there’s sometimes a gap in where they can find nutritious meals,” says Aimee Beam, an education associate for nutrition programs at the Delaware Department of Education.

Officials tell 47 ABC, some families can experience a financial strain during the summer since many rely on free or reduced meals at their child’s school.

“We can also help ease the burden of purchasing additional food in the summer months for families because sometimes they have to stretch their food dollars in the summer months,” says Beam.

Not only does this food help financially, we’re told it also makes a difference in the classroom.

“What we see is that when kids continue to have access to meals nutritious meals on a regular basis it helps slow the learning gap, that we might see if they don’t have regular meals sometimes their health suffers,” says Beam.

But those working in the state’s summer meal program say they see clear proof that these meals makes a difference.

“What we find is that the kids are very happy and very appreciative of the meals. We see them they have a lot of energy when they come to us after a day or two of coming to us,” says Mengel.

Delaware’s Summer Meal program is open to any child 18 years and younger. There’s no enrollment and no cost.

Most of Delaware’s open meal sites will open for the summer on Monday, June 17th.

To find a location near you, call 211. Or you can text the word “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877.

You can also find a complete list of the Delaware Department of Education website: here.

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