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School's Out: Summer Programs Provide Free Lunches for Children

By Jody Smith HERWriter
summer programs provide free lunches for children when school's out MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Summer vacation is great for the kids, but it also poses some problems for many families. Those families who depend on their children getting a meal when they're at school face a new challenge in the summer.

Fortunately there are some options available to many of these families. Here are a few of the options in various parts of the country. Check out the links below to find other locations for summer meals for children.

According to an article on West Virginia Public Broadcasting's website, the WV Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have a history of feeding children breakfast and lunch in schools.

The Boys and Girls Club has 150 groups with summer programs that offer food and activities for children. The State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture partner with the organization's summer program, giving children free meals.

West Virginia's Summer Food Service program has outlets in more than 400 locations. The USDA reimburses a percentage of the cost to the state. In 2012, the USDA reimbursed more than $1.6 million for 600,000 meals that summer.

A new piece of legislation called the Feed to Achieve Act supports and contributes to established nutrition programs for children, with funds from the federal government to augment local contributions. The state will be connecting for the first time with private businesses for local contributions.

To see a list of more than 400 sites across West Virginia, click here.

According to an article on Southern California Public Radio's website, in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) close to 80 percent of students are given meals for free or at a reduced price during the school year. To deal with the summer needs, local and federal organizations are stepping up.

For instance, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank serve 3500 meals a day at 86 locations, at community centers, libraries, summer schools and Salvation Army locations. Some locations have a requirement that children be enrolled in a program for the meal, while others do not.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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