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North Idaho schools offering free food programs for kids this summer

Idaho families in search of nutritious options this summer will be able to access free meals and snacks for their children in locations offering the summer program.

IDAHO, USA — The Idaho State Department of Education will be offering free nutrition meals for children ages 1 to 18.

Idaho families in search of nutritious options this summer will be able to access free meals and snacks for their children in locations offering the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

SFSP helps the State Department of Education bridge the summer nutrition gap and ensure that Idaho’s students are happy, healthy and ready to return to school in the fall to learn.

“This program does so much more than provide healthy meals,” Sherri Ybarra, Superintendent of Public Instruction, said in a statement. “Making our schools a central hub – even during the summer months – keeps Idaho’s students and families engaged in our educational communities. And, as we all know, although our kids take a break for the summer, hunger certainly does not.”

The SFSP program serves meals in areas that need it. Food is provided by sponsors who are reimbursed for each qualifying breakfast, lunch, snack and supper they serve. In the summer of 2021, 58 sponsors served more than 4.1 million meals and snacks at more than 250 sites across Idaho.

Families with children ages 1 to 18 qualify for the program. The program doesn't take into consideration income gross or ask any questions. Many of the meal sites also offer games and reading activities along with balanced meals throughout the day.

Many summer meal sites across Idaho are now open and operating. People can find the site nearest to them by texting the word FOOD to 877-877, calling the Idaho Care Line at 2-1-1, or by going to the U.S.D.A.’s Find Meals for Kids map at USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

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