Right now, one in five Maine children don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
No child should ever go hungry.
Good morning, I am Governor Janet Mills, thank you for listening.
While our biennial budget helps feed more hungry children in schools by eliminating the reduced-price lunch category and including those kids in the free-lunch category, it can be hard for families to get to nutritious food when schools are out for the summer.
I want to tell you about the Summer Food Service Program, funded through the US Department of Agriculture. It’s available statewide in areas of need at sites like schools, nonprofit summer places, government agencies, faith-based organizations, churches that helps fill the gap with free, nutritious meals for children in Maine.
Some schools are keeping their doors open during the summer to continue to serve hot meals, while other people are packing a cooler and heading to the local playground, swimming pool or park to provide free meals for kids.
Children can often take part in activities with their friends and family while eating a healthy meal that meets the USDA guidelines for nutrition.
Last year, more than 123 sponsors at 450 sites in every county in Maine served more than 727, 238 meals.
Anyone under the age of 18 can come to eat at no cost, no questions asked.
To see if there are free meals for kids near you, check out usda.gov/summerfoodrocks
You can also text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call Maine 211. Meal serving dates and times are subject to change through the summer, so be sure to check the website often.
I hope that these summer months are filled with precious time with your family, friends and neighbors - not hunger.
If your family needs a helping hand, please visit a Summer Food Service Program site near you.
Not only will a child have access to a healthy, nutritionally balanced, free meal, you will also be supporting your local school and community organizations.
I am Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.