One in five children in the state of Ohio does not know where their next meal will come from. According to the Ohio Association of Food Banks, opens a new window, children experiencing food insecurity are more likely to struggle with illness, cognitive development, and educational achievement.
Many children rely on healthy school meals provided when classes are in session. Come summer, however, many aren’t sure where to turn. To bridge this gap, the Library teamed up with UMC Food Ministry, opens a new window and Mt. Healthy City Schools, opens a new window to provide meals and snacks for children ages 18 and younger.
People ages 19 through 21 who have identified as having mental or physical disabilities and are following Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) through their current enrollment in educational programs also are eligible for free summer meals.
The Summer Meals program is sponsored by the USDA and the Ohio Department of Education. “For years, the Library has offered educational opportunities for children during the summer months, to prevent the summer slide and keep their brains active,” said Lisa Soper, Youth Services & Programming Coordinator. “But children who are hungry are not able to focus on learning and as a result, more likely to fall behind their peers over the summer. Summer meals and snacks help feed kids' hungry bellies so we can feed their hungry minds as well.”
Visit the Discover Summer website for a full list of times and locations where meals are served.