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Archive for the ‘Free Food for Kids’ Category

During the school year, your child has access to nutritious meals through the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. But when school is out for the summer, access to these programs comes to an end. Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, you can make sure your child has healthy meals in the summer.

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses sponsor sites for healthy meals and snacks they serve in their area throughout the summer months. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Education and site sponsors vary but may include schools, community centers, public or private nonprofit agencies, and public or private nonprofit colleges or universities with National Youth Sports Program activities. Sites must meet one of the following criteria: 1) Location is in an area served by a school where 50% or more of the students are enrolled in free or reduced-price meals, 2) Location is in an area where 50% or more of the population earns less than 185% of the federal poverty level, 3) Income eligibility information gathered from all children verifies that participants live in households that earn less than 185% of the federal poverty level.

To sign-up for summer meals, call 1-800-481-6885.

To sponsor a Summer Food Service Site, call 1-800-481-6885.

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If your child is very active he needs plenty of healthy snacks throughout the day.  Remember that a child has a smaller stomach than an adult and his stomach can only hold small portions of food at any given time.  Healthy snacks in between meals are important to make sure that he:

· gets enough nutrients,

· is able to maintain his energy level throughout the day, and

· does not feel hungry, which allows him to concentrate on the task at hand without losing focus or becoming cranky.    

After-school sites across Ohio benefit from the USDA after-school meal and snack reimbursement program, helping children end the day with a nutritious meal. Meals can be served to children up to age 12 and children of migrant workers 15 years and younger at a sponsored after-school program. Snacks can be served at sites for school-age children up to 18 years of age. After-school site reimbursement rates are based on each child’s family income level.

To sign-up for afterschool meals, visit http://www.occrra.org/contact_agencies.htm

To sponsor an afterschool meal program, call 1-800-481-6885.

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Lunch provides a significant amount of your child’s daily nutrition needs. Eating a healthy lunch enhances children’s learning abilities by contributing to their physical and mental well being. Studies have shown that children whose nutritional needs are met are more attentive in class and have fewer discipline and attendance problems. If eligible, your child can receive free or reduced-price meals that are healthy from his or her school through the National School Lunch Program.

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program that offers repayment for nutritious, low-cost or free lunches served to children in public and private schools and residential child care facilities. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Education and serves children attending participating schools and agencies. Children with family income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level are eligible for free meals. Children with family income at or below 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals. All children with family income above 185% of the federal poverty level are eligible for full-priced meals.

To sign-up for a School Lunch Program, call your school.

To start a School Breakfast Program, visit http://childrenshungeralliance.org/SCHOOL&SUMMER/

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Just as gasoline fuels cars, food fuels our bodies.  Your body changes food into energy that you need for thinking, walking and talking.  When your child wakes up in the morning after a night time of no food intake, his body is running on an empty tank. 

 

Eating a healthy breakfast helps your child’s concentration and problem-solving abilities, increases his attention span and mental performance, and lifts his mood. Studies have shown that people that eat a healthy breakfast have better overall diets, are less likely to have health problems, and are more likely to be physically active.  So you can see why it’s important that your child eats a healthy breakfast every morning.

The School Breakfast Program is a federal reimbursement program to provide nutritionally-balanced breakfasts to children in public and private schools and residential child care facilities. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Education and serves children attending participating schools and agencies. Children with family income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level are eligible for free meals. Children with family income at or below 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals. All children with family income above 185% of the federal poverty level are eligible for full-priced meals.

To sign-up for the School Breakfast Program, call your school.

To start a School Breakfast Program, visit http://childrenshungeralliance.org/SCHOOL&SUMMER/

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Did you know, here in Ohio, on any given day, there are over 500,000 children who are hungry or at risk of hunger? That’s about 1 in 6 kids who is unsure how, or if, he or she will get their next meal. That shouldn’t be.

A hungry child cannot learn. Research shows without food and proper nutrition, children suffer consequences that last a lifetime. Hungry children experience more health, social and behavioral problems. It’s harder for a hungry child to pay attention and learn in school. And long term, they’ll have difficulty finding well-paying jobs as adults.

 

Federal programs exist to provide all of Ohio’s hungry children a nutritious breakfast, lunch, afterschool meal/snack, and summer meals. These programs reimburse schools, faith-based and youth-serving organizations for providing children access to nutritious meals at school and during the summertime, too. Unfortunately, they’re tremendously underutilized in Ohio.

 

By empowering schools, faith-based and youth-serving organizations to feed local children with federal resources, everyone wins:

 · Children get the nutrition they need to learn and thrive.

 · Federal funds feed local children while strengthening local economies.

 · Schools run more smoothly because students are healthier, happier and better behaved.

 · School food service operations run more efficiently and effectively.

 · Parents stretch food dollars further, because children get no- or low-cost access to food at school and during the summer months.

 · Ohioans win because healthy children are more likely to grow into healthy, productive adults.

 

Children who eat nutritious foods:

 · attend school more regularly, and on time, than their peers who don’t eat breakfast;

 · have fewer behavior problems;

 · have fewer visits to see the school nurse; and,

 · perform better academically.

 

Stay tuned for more information on federal meal programs that can provide free food for your kids.

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