First Posted: 7/3/2012 4:10:22 PM | Last Updated: 7/3/2012 4:10:42 PM
LAFAYETTE – In June, Food Finders Food Bank served more than 10,000 meals to food insecure children across nine counties through the Summer Food Service program.
The Summer Food Service program, run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Education, aims to fill the food insecurity gap, providing children with free, healthy meals during the summer months. Every summer millions of children across the nation lose access to free and reduced-price meals they receive during the school year.
This is the third year Food Finders Food Bank has participated in the Summer Food Service Program. This year, Food Finders organized 39 sites in nine counties and has already served over 10,000 meals in June alone.
Each meal meets USDA nutrition guidelines. Last year, Food Finders organized 17 sites in four counties and served just over 10,000 meals throughout the entire 10-week summer program.
This year, Food Finders served over 10,000 meals in less than four weeks. In Tippecanoe County over 2,400 meals have already been served.
“Childhood hunger doesn’t get a summer vacation,” said Katy Bunder. “At Food Finders Food Bank, it is our vision that no child goes hungry. Through the 39 summer feeding sites in our communities, we can be certain that no child will miss meals or go without proper nutrition this summer.”
In addition to the free, nutritious meals, participating children receive take-home bags of food through a grant from ConAgra and Feeding America once a week. “For some kids the lunch program is the highlight of their day” said Courtney Webb, a Purdue Student and Summer Food Service Summer Intern.
“The kids we see are all so grateful to get a lunch each day,” said Kelly Petrick, a Purdue Student and Summer Food Service Summer Intern. “They are really excited when they see us pull up in the van; some even come out and greet us before we’ve unloaded the van.”
The lunches are free and open to children 2-18 (no lunch will be served on July 4th). Meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. The sites, which serve food Monday through Friday, located in Tippecanoe County are:
--Bethany Presbyterian Church: 3305 Longlois Dr., Lafayette - Lunch served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
--Cambridge Apartments: 3606 Parliament Dr, Lafayette - Lunch served noon-1 p.m.
--Chapel Gate Apartments: 3151 Chapel Gate Way, West Lafayette - Lunch served noon-1 p.m.
--Claystone Apartments: 548 Westchester Lane, Lafayette - Lunch served 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
--Columbian Park: 1915 Scott St., Lafayette (Green Shelter by The Cove) - Lunch served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
For more information or on how to locate a summer feeding site in your area, please visit www.food-finders.org or contact Kristine Jansen, program coordinator at 765- 471-0062.