By Gina Martinez
In an effort to provide free meals over the summer to underprivileged kids, Hunger Free America has collaborated with the city Department of Education. Hunger Free America is a non profit organization that helps schools through out the country feed kids. The Summer Meals program will run in three locations in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The program will provide free summer meals to anyone 18 years old and under.
The Summer Meals Program is federally funded and run by the USDA to reduce child hunger. It will be offered throughout the summer to serve children who may solely depend on free meals from schools to eat, ensuring they don’t go hungry when school is out for summer break.
“I like eating seven days a week, and so do low-income people,” said Joel Berg, chief executive officer of Hunger Free America. “This announcement ensures that now low-income children will be able eat free lunch every day of the week.”
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m on weekdays and 11 a.m to 3 p.m on weekends. In addition to the three school sites, there are some parks, pools, and trucks that are also open seven days per week.
City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) was joined by some volunteers as he spoke last Friday in front of PS 20 on 142-20 Barclay Avenue, the Queens location for the program. He addressed the importance of free meals for young people who otherwise cannot afford to eat.
“For most kids, the summer months are a time for rest, relaxation and recuperation for the next school year, but for countless low-income youth summertime brings hunger and added stress,” he said “Seven-day summer meal service is an important tool in the battle against childhood hunger, and I’d like to thank the Department of Education and Hunger Free America for bringing this important program to our community.
He went on to say, “As we know hunger doesn’t wait for the weekend to be over, so we have to make sure our children in our community, no matter their income, have access to nutritious food when they need it.”
Koo pointed out that one in five children in the city don’t have enough to eat.
Breakfast and lunch will be served throughout the summer until Sept. 2.
Hunger Free America said the food it will provide to kids will be nutritious and healthy.
“We distribute high-quality, sustainably grown, affordable produce through the Farm Fresh Community Supported Agriculture program,” the group said.