Meet Up and Eat Up -- Summer Meals for KidsContact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395Agency: Education
June 7, 2017
Michigan children in low-income communities need to continue receiving healthy meals when school is out for the summer and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is announcing multiple ways for families to find the nearest locations of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for children across the state.
This program is crucial for the hundreds of thousands of Michigan students who rely on the federal school meals program during the school year. Once school is out, over 1,700 SFSP sites across Michigan help to bridge that gap until the start of school next fall.
Last year, 535,000 low-income Michigan children received meals during the school year, but less than 85,000 of those children (17%) ate meals or snacks at approved summer meal sites in their neighborhoods.
“Too many families across Michigan are struggling, and we can’t have children going hungry in the summer when programs like this are available,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston, in stressing the importance of these crucial summer food programs for children. “Making families aware and informed is vital to keeping kids fed and healthy.”
MDE provides the SFSP Site Locator Map, which allows families to identify the nearest Meet Up and Eat Up™ Summer Food Service Program site, including information about locations, meal types, dates, times, and driving directions. The map can be found at www.michigan.gov/meetupeatup.
In partnership with Michigan No Kid Hungry and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, people anywhere in Michigan can also locate the Meet Up and Eat Up™ Summer Food Service Program site nearest them by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or mobile phone. Call centers across the state access the MDE Site Locator Map to provide callers with the most up-to-date information.
Additionally, Michigan No Kid Hungry sponsors a text message resource. Mobile phone users can text “Food” to 877-877 and receive the most up-to-date site location information. Standard text messaging rates apply.
The program spans nearly every county in Michigan. Individuals and organizations interested in more information on SFSP or about becoming a site, an activity provider, or a volunteer this summer, can contact MDE’s Office of School Support Services, Summer Food Service Program at 608 West Allegan Street, P.O. Box 30008, Lansing, Michigan 48909, by calling 517-373-3347, or on the MDE website at www.michigan.gov/sfsp.
The Summer Food Service Program serves nutritious meals to children up to age 18 living in low-income areas (where 50 percent or more of the students qualify for no-cost or reduced price school meals). The program can operate in schools, libraries, public housing centers, playgrounds, camps, parks, museums, and faith-based facilities. Meals served are free and no registration is required.
The Summer Food Service Program, administered by MDE through funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is available to children 18 and under regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.