During the 2011-2012 school year, more than 74,000 students received meal subsidies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. Hunger also may make children more prone to illness and other health issues. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.
This summer, CMS plans to serve more than 456,000 meals at between 175 to 180 sites in Mecklenburg County, alone. There are no income requirements or registration required. Any child 18 and younger may come to eat at any of the local sites. Parents don’t need to apply to the program to get a free summer breakfast or lunch for their kids—just come to a site and get in line.
Rising fourth grader Carmerius Jackson and other campers in the Police Activities League’s Summer Enrichment Program get their breakfast and lunch from a local SFSP site. The students were part of a statewide kickoff event for the Summer Food Service Program at Thomasboro Elementary on June 14. Governor Bev Perdue spoke to students at the event and shared the importance of good nutrition.
The Governor’s words made an impression on Carmerius, who left full and ready for an afternoon of activities with his friends.
“If you eat healthy you’ll be strong and smart,” Carmerius said. “It will make your brain work better. There are a whole bunch of people who want to make sure we have nutritious meals with vitamin C.”
At the kickoff, No Kid Hungry launched a texting tool that lets families find nearby free meal sites for their kids, based on their zip code. Just text FoodNC to 877877 and when you receive the prompt, enter your zip code. Within a few seconds, families will get a text with the sites nearest to them. The information is also available online at www.nc.nokidhungry.org or by phone at 980-343-6041.
View a list of local SFSP sites.