The Summer Food Service Program will once again be administered by the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department, the department’s secretary, Elizabeth Groginsky, said Friday.
The program addresses the gap in children’s nutritional needs during the summer and at other times, when school meals are not available.
“When the school year ends, families should be focused on play and quality time together, not worrying about where their next meal is coming from,” Groginsky said. “Research shows that nutritious meals are vital for healthy child development, and ECECD’s Summer Food Service Program fills a critical gap by providing free meals in communities throughout New Mexico during the summer break, when many children who are at risk for hunger don’t have access to school meal programs.”
The free summer food program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered in New Mexico by the ECECD. It is open to children age 18 and younger. No registration or enrollment is required. Also eligible are people older than 18 who have disabilities as determined by a state or local educational agency, and who participate during the school year in a public or private nonprofit school program.
Organizations eligible for sponsorship include public or private nonprofit school food authorities; public or private nonprofit residential camps; municipal, county, tribal and state government agencies; national youth sports programs; and private charitable groups.
Organizations interested in hosting a Summer Food Service Program for children at their local level, should contact the Family Nutrition Bureau at 505-841-4856, or email at summerfoodnm.org/sponsors/sponsor-login.
To find a meal site near you, call 1-800-328-2665.