USDA summer program provides nutritious, free meals for youth

 

 

A new mobile application was launched statewide this year to help students and families find free summer meals. The app, called Summer Eats Minnesota, is powered by GPS to show locations of summer food sites, their menus, and days and hours of operation. The app, created in partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Hunger Impact Partners, is free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

“For some students, the free meals they get in school are the most nutritious meals they can count on,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “To help close the nutrition gap, students need access to healthy meals over the summer so they come back in September ready to learn. Many organizations, partners and communities are coming together to expand the number of meals available over the summer, and their innovative efforts will help more students have healthy meals after the last bell rings. The new statewide mobile app is a great example of how we can work together to help students get what they need to succeed, even when school is out.”

Summer meals are available across Minnesota through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides children ages 18 and under with nutritious meals when school is out. The MDE is working with schools, nonprofits, cities, colleges and faith-based communities to increase awareness of the free meals. Over 200 organizations have signed up to provide children with free, healthy meals at eligible locations this summer.

In 2017, more than three million meals were served to Minnesota children through the SFSP, yet efforts reached only about 18 percent of children in need. The program is funded by the USDA and administered by the Minnesota Department of Education.

There are many additional resources available to find a meal site over the summer: • Enter your address in the new Summer Meal Site Locator tool released by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service at www.fns.usda.gov. • Call the 2-1-1 hotline or, from your mobile phone in greater Minnesota, call -1-800-543- 7709 or TTY at 651-291-8440. • Call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866- 348-6479 or for Spanish 1-877-842-6273. • View the SFSP Participation Report to find a list of all sites. • Download the Summer Eats Minnesota app on your phone to search for sites in your area. • Text “food” to 877-877.

Following is a listing of Summer Food Service Program sites located across the local region.

Chisholm Kiwanis Park Sponsored by United Way of NE Minnesota

Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving lunch 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
2 W. Lake St., Chisholm
For more info: 218 -254-3329

Greenway Secondary
Sponsored by Grand Rapids ISD 318
Days of operation: Monday – Friday
Serving breakfast 8 -8:45 a.m.
Serving lunch 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
308 Roosevelt St., Coleraine
For more info: 218-327-5772

Eveleth Public Library
Sponsored by United Way of NE Minnesota
Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving lunch 12 – 1 p.m.
614 Pierce St., Eveleth
For more info: 218-254-3329

Grand Rapids Middle
Sponsored by Grand Rapids ISD 318
Days of operation: Monday – Friday
Serving breakfast 8 – 8:45 a.m.
Serving lunch 12 – 12:45 p.m.
1000 NE 8th Ave., Grand Rapids
For more info: 218- 327-5772

Itasca Resource Center
Sponsored by Grand Rapids ISD 318
Days of operation: Tuesday – Thursday
Serving breakfast 8 – 8:45 a.m.
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
1217 SE 2nd Ave., Grand Rapids
For more info: 218- 327-5772

Hibbing Bennett Park
Sponsored by United Way of NE Minnesota
Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving lunch 12 – 1 p.m.
520 E. 13th St., Hibbing
For more info: 218-254-3329

Hibbing HRA
Sponsored by United Way of NE Minnesota
Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving lunch 12 – 1 p.m.
3115 7th Ave. E., Hibbing
For more info: 218-254-3329

Citizens for Backus/AB
Sponsored by Citizens for Backus/AB
Days of operation: Monday – Friday
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
900 5th St., International Falls
For more info: 218-373-3001

Keewatin Elementary
Sponsored by Nashwauk Keewatin ISD 319
Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving breakfast 7:45 – 9 a.m.
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
300 W. 3rd Ave., Keewatin
For more info: 218-885-1280

Nashwauk Public Library
Sponsored by United Way of NE Minnesota
Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving lunch 12 – 1 p.m.
400 2nd St., Nashwauk
For more info: 218-254-3329

Nashwauk Secondary
Sponsored by Nashwauk Keewatin ISD 319
Days of operation: Monday – Thursday
Serving breakfast 7:45 – 9 a.m.
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
400 2nd St., Nashwauk
For more info: 218-885-1280

Nett Lake Elementary
Sponsored by Nett Lake ISD 707
Days of operation: Monday – Friday
Serving breakfast 8 – 9 a.m.
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
13090 Westley Dr., Orr
For more info: 218-757-3102

Virginia Silver Lake
Sponsored by United Way of NE Minnesota
Days of operation: Monday – Friday
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
100 N. 9th Ave., Virginia
For more info: 218-254-3329

To learn more, visit the Summer Food Service Program website or contact MDE Food and Nutrition Services (www.mde. fns@state.mn.us), or call 651-582-8526 or 1-800-366-8922.

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