Free meals for low-income children at hundreds of MO locations


The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is offering an online map to help low-income families in the state determine where their children can receive free meals this summer. The interactive map pinpoints hundreds of locations in Missouri where meals will be provided through the state health department's Summer Food Service Program.

Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs and other spots where children gather when school is not in session. The meals are provided to all children that attend the program. Children do not have to register, and there is no fee to participate in the program.

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, says, "Summer can be a time of food insecurity for students who receive free and reduced lunches during the school year. This interactive map will help ensure Missouri's children are getting critical nutrition all year long."

The map and more information about the Summer Food Service Program can be found at www.health.mo.gov/sfsSummer Food Service Programp/. The map can be searched by city, county or zip code. For families without access to the internet, summer meal sites in the area can also be found by texting the phrase "Summer Meals" to the text number 97779.

Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals age 18 to 21 that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More information about the Summer Food Service Program is available online at Summer Food Service Program or by telephone at 888-435-1464 (toll-free). Hearing-and speech- impaired citizens can dial 711 or 1-800-676-3777. Potential sponsors may also email the Summer Food Service Program at sfsp@health.mo.gov or write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

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