Online map and text number will help families locate summer food programs

Summer Food Service Program

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.

An online interactive map is provided to help families in Missouri locate where their children can receive free meals this summer.

Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other locations 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 communities.

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.

“The Summer Food Service Program has helped many children have a healthy meal, especially while some schools weren’t in-seat due to COVID-19,” said Robert Knodell, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “It is a comfort to many families knowing this program is available to their children.”

The map and more information about the Summer Food Service Program can be found at this link. For families without access to the internet, summer meal sites in the area can also be found by texting the phrase “Summer Meals” to 97779.

Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals age 18 to 21 who 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 this link 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.