When I started Classroom Antics 10 years ago, I never knew how many kids receive financial assistance just to eat lunch. Lunch at most schools is around $4. Just $4. And breakfast is around $2. But for many families, that is just not affordable enough. Roughly 29% of families across Ohio receive free or reduced lunch. So one of the first things that get cut in those families is food. For the love of God, FOOD! Something so critical to the livelihood and well-being of our next generation. Lack of food also ruins concentration at school, thus lower grades and performance. So I’m very happy to hear that the State of Ohio’s Department of Education is extending their help through the summer. Please read below for their official press release on the program.
For Immediate Release
May 24, 2017
Spread the Word: Kids Eat Free This Summer!
This summer, the Ohio Department of Education is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program, providing children with free, healthy meals.
It’s easy to participate and no sign up is required. Simply call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (486479), visit education.ohio.gov/KidsEat or use the Department’s mobile app for meal times and locations. The Ohio Department of Education Mobile App is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, search Ohio Department of Education.
The Summer Food Service Program ensures children ages 18 and under continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer break from school, when they do not have access to school breakfasts or lunches. Children with disabilities and approved individualized education programs may participate through age 21.
“The need for healthy meals doesn’t stop when school breaks for the summer, and the Summer Food Service Program helps provide children with nourishment to make sure summer can be a time for continued learning and fun,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Instead of worrying about where their next meal will come from, our students can enjoy activities like reading, sports, playing outdoors and the growing that happens during the summer months.”
Many Ohio parents and caregivers continue to make difficult choices every day to provide for their families. In many cases, this leaves Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens, our children and youth, struggling with hunger daily.
In 2016, more than 3.95 million meals were served to Ohio children through the Summer Food Service Program with the help of approximately 1,900 feeding sites.
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Ohio Department of Education.
About the Ohio Department of Education
The Ohio Department of Education oversees the state’s public education system, which includes public school districts, joint vocational school districts and charter schools. The Department also monitors educational service centers, other regional education providers, early learning and child care programs, and private schools. The Department’s tasks include administering the school funding system, collecting school fiscal and performance data, developing academic standards and model curricula, administering the state achievement tests, issuing district and school report cards, administering Ohio’s voucher programs, providing professional development, and licensing teachers, administrators, treasurers, superintendents and other education personnel. The Department is governed by the State Board of Education with administration of the Department the responsibility of the superintendent of public instruction.