The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has been helping families in need during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Through the Summer Food Service Program, thousands of meals have been provided and will continue to be provided all summer. The program is designed to provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks to children living in eligible areas during the summer months and during times of public emergencies when children do not have access to free or reduced-price meals at school.
Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other spots where children gather when school is not in session. During this time of social distancing, many of the meals are being provided in a non-congregate, drive through, method to ensure the safety of the community.
The meals are provided to all children that attend the meal service location. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.
“We are appreciative that the Summer Food Service Program has been able to assist in providing meals to families while schools have been dismissed due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Knowing that the meals will continue for those families throughout the summer will provide some comfort during these unprecedented times.”
The map and more information about the Summer Food Service Program can be found at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp/. The map can be searched by city, county, or zip code. For families without access to the internet, summer meal sites in the area can also be found by texting the phrase “Summer Meals” to text number 97779.
Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. 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.
Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
More information about the Summer Food Service Program is available online at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp or by telephone at 888-435-1464 (toll-free). Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a speech disability can dial 711 or 1-800-735-2966. Community organizations that would like to become sponsors may also email the Summer Food Service Program at [email protected] or write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102 for more information.