Summer break will be here before you know it. And for some children it means going hungry too often.
“This is America, and this is New Mexico, and we should not be putting our kids to bed when they are still hungry,” Gov. Susana Martinez said in support of efforts to provide more federally funded meals for kids during the summer.
The governor spoke at an event hosted by the nonprofit New Mexico Appleseed to highlight the need for organizations to step up and distribute the meals. Summer meals are particularly important to low-income kids who get much of their nutrition at school. When school’s out, hunger can become a daily problem.
Summer meals require both a site and a sponsor. Sponsors can be schools, nonprofits or local government branches. Sites can be apartment complexes, parks, libraries, pools, schools, community centers or other places where children gather.
The summer food service program is operated in the state by the Children, Youth and Families Department in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Albuquerque, CYFD and the city partner to distribute food at about 170 sites.
Rural areas are in particular need of sponsors and sites, especially in Doña Ana, McKinley and San Juan counties.