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Free summer meals available for youth and teens

Once again, the Stutsman County Extension Office is a host site serving families in our community.

Morehouse,Luella
Luella Morehouse

Free summer meals are available for all youth and teens through USDA and Great Plains Food Bank. Kids can get help this summer when school lunches are not available.

Once again, the Stutsman County Extension Office is a host site serving families in our community, including surrounding areas. Other site locations include the Hansen Arts Park and the Jamestown Parks and Recreation are hosting sites at the Two Rivers Activity Center, Nickeus Park, Leapaldt Park and Meidinger Park.

Childhood hunger is a year-round issue, but the problem is especially critical during the summer months when children do not have access to the school lunch program. This is why the Great Plains Food Bank launched its Youth Summer Meals Program to give kids the chance for a nutritious meal at a time when other options might not be available.

Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again and make children more prone to illness and other health issues. These programs are designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children get the nutritious meals they need.

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USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides meals at no cost to all children 18 years and younger. The Stutsman County Extension Office is a curbside pickup, the meals are a grab-and-go (non-congregrate), and parents/guardians are able to pick up meals for their youths.

At our location meals will be available, Monday through Friday until Aug. 27, service time is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

There are 15 different entrees available for youth to choose from, including WOW butter & jelly, cheese stick, turkey stick with cheddar stick, salsa cup, BBQ chicken salad, BBQ chicken bites and beef sticks, accompanied by healthy options, such as fruit and a choice of white or chocolate milk. Now available at the Extension office site is the 5-Day meal box. The kids' favorite entrees are the chicken bites and beef sticks.

Parents are able to pre-order the meals for their families prior to service at the Stutsman County Extension site only by calling (701) 252-9030. They can pick up more than one day’s worth of meals (up to five days), which is a great convenience for the families.

At the Extension site in June, there were 2,570 meals provided to families with the help of volunteers from the Jamestown Volunteer Center.

Families can use the USDA Meals for Kids Site Find to find directions to nearby sites as well as hours of operation and contact information. To use the interactive map, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids

You can also visit www.greatplainsfoodbank.org website, Child Nutrition Programs – Summer Meals to learn about the various programs in our state. For more information about this topic, contact the Stutsman County Extension office at 252-9030 or email luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu .

Related Topics: FAMILY
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