USDA to offer free meals for all EBR children this summer
BATON ROUGE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program will offer free meals this summer to East Baton Rouge Parish children regardless of income.
The Mayor’s Office says the program is sponsored by school districts and other community organizations for activities for children and youth including summer schools, camps and vacation Bible schools. However, children don’t need to be a part of a summer school or camp to receive free meals.
“Last summer, we served over 322,000 meals, and we hope to build on that success this year,” said Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden, noting that the partners across East Baton Rouge Parish will operate over 50 open dining locations this summer.
These dining locations can be identified on the map at http://www.healthybr.com/be-nourished/summer-food-service-program/.
About 21 million children in the nation receive free and reduced-price meals though the USDA’s School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs during the school year. When school is out though, many children who rely on these school meals are forced to go hungry. In order to close this nutritional gap, the USDA has started the summer meal program at schools and other approved sites.
Sponsors for East Baton Rouge Parish Summer Food Service Program include the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Central Community School System, the City of Baker School System and the Big Buddy Program.
The Mayor’s Office says several other community organizations will operate closed sites which are only available to serve children who are part of the specific program or camp at that site. Parents and guardians are encouraged to check with their nearest dining center for dates and hours of service.
For more info on the program, the following contact numbers are available:
East Baton Rouge Parish
-East Baton Rouge Parish School System (225) 226-3604
-Big Buddy Program (225) 388-9737
-City of Baton School System at (225) 774-5795
-Central Community School System (225) 650-2918 or (225) 650-2919.