Map shows where low-income children can find summer food programs

4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, June 30 2015 Jun 30, 2015 Tuesday, June 30, 2015 3:41:00 PM CDT June 30, 2015 in News
By: Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers an online map so low-income families can find summer food programs in Missouri.

Chief Public Information Officer Ryan Hobart said free meals are served to low-income children at hundreds of locations across the state.

Hobart said the interactive map shows where the meals are provided through the state health department's Summer Food Service Program. Meals are served at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs and other spots where children might be when school isn't in session.

Children who get free or reduced price meals during the regular school year are eligible to get the meals during the summer. They do not have to register.

"When school is out for the summer, children who receive meals at school are at risk of not getting the nutrition they need," said Gail Vasterling, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "This map makes it easier for families to find out where their children can receive nutritious meals during the summer months. We know good nutrition is essential for effective learning all year long."

Hobart said children 18 and under can eat the meals. They are also provided to individuals' age 18 to 21 that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

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