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Summer Meals Program for Arkansas Schoolchildren

Families may call 1-866-3-HUNGRY, 1-877-8-HAMBRE, go to www.whyhunger.org/findfood or text “FoodAR” to 877-877 to find a site near them.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Summer Food Service Program for schoolchildren has been kicked off in Little Rock.

For many kids, summertime means food, friends and fun. For families who count on school breakfast and lunch, however, the summer months can be stressful with food budgets being stretched even further than usual.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers free summer meals to children ages 18 and younger who come to a summer meals site. Share Our Strength’s Center for Best Practices reports that in Arkansas, only 13.8 percent of children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch participated in free summer meal programs in 2012. That means many Arkansas children may be at higher risk of food insecurity during the months when school is not in session.

The Arkansas Summer Food Service Program is a partnership that includes the Arkansas Department of Human Service’s Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education-Health and Nutrition unit, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Share Our Strength, and the USDA.

First Lady Ginger Beebe joined representatives from those groups as well as community leaders at this morning's kickoff.

Families may call 1-866-3-HUNGRY, 1-877-8-HAMBRE, click here or text “FoodAR” to 877-877 to find a site near them.

Tonight at 7:00 at the Market Place Cinema off Rodney Parham on Merrill Drive, there's a free special screening of "A Place at the Table." The acclaimed documentary film focuses on hunger through the eyes of Americans unsure where they'll get their next meals. A Q&A discussion of hunger in Arkansas follows the screening. (This is a Free event limited to 200 people, RSVP by email with subject line: TABLE to Nancy Conley at nconley@arhungeralliance.org).
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