The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to fill the gap when children lose access to meals when schools are closed. Most often this occurs during summer vacation. However, during school closures related to the pandemic, meals are also being made available. You have the opportunity to supplement the food you have at home with meals and snacks for your children from local schools and community organizations. In an effort to maintain social distancing, USDA has made temporary changes that allow parents or guardians to pick up meals and take them home for their children. Organizations have come up with creative ways to make these nutritious meals available in your community through grab and go curbside pickup, providing meals for multiple days at one time, and some including “take and bake” options, and weekend meals.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) is a free nutrition education and obesity prevention program serving low-income adults and youth. It is funded by the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). SNAP-Ed operates in 52 states and territories, and its focus audience is individuals and families eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).
SNAP-Ed facilitates voluntary adoption of healthy food and physical activity choices and other good nutrition-related behaviors. In Ohio, SNAP-Ed has developed as a partnership between the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services and Ohio State University Extension.
You can find a meal site in your area via three easy options:
- Text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877
- Call 2-1-1, 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479), or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish)
Visit the Celebrate Your Plate website https://celebrateyourplate.org/ for tips on saving time and money when you're shopping, cooking and gardending. You will also find recipes for low-cost, tasty meals that everyone in your family will enjoy.
Take the stress out of providing nutritious meals and snacks to your children by participating at a site near you! Spread the word to family, friends, and neighbors!