LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – When schools out for the summer, it can mean weeks of fun in the sun. Yet for thousands of children and teenagers in southern Nevada, it can also mean going hungry without school-provided meals. That’s where Three Square Food Bank comes in.
Children who rely on free and reduced price lunch during the school year don’t need to go hungry this summer, thanks to the non-profit food bank.
The “Meet Up and Eat Up” program provides free, nutritious summer meals from June 12 through August 11.
During the school year, more than 62-percent of Clark County School District (CCSD) students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals, which comes out to more than 205,000 children. Every summer when school ends, thousands of kids are at risk of going hungry in Southern Nevada. Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by Nevada’s Department of Agriculture, Meet Up and Eat Up bridges the gap to prevent childhood hunger during the summer months.
“Summer vacation can be a scary time for children who rely on school for meals and activities to help them learn and grow,” said Three Square Programs Director, Dorian Stonebarger. “Three Square and our community partners are working hard this summer to take that fear away by giving children easy access to meals and summer activities close to home,” Stonebarger said.
Meet Up and Eat Up sites offer free, nutritious meals for children 18 or younger and at more than 90-locations across the Las Vegas valley. Locations include parks and recreation centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, libraries, day camps and apartment complexes. Three Square will also provide meals to 18 additional apartment complexes using refrigerated vans to reach more than 400 kids per day. The menu includes 20 rotating meal varieties and sites may offer breakfast, lunch or both. With the help of volunteers and partners, Three Square will pack about 40,000 summer meals Monday and Friday each week during the summer.
For the second year, several schools in Clark County will support summer feeding with meals provided by CCSD Food Service. The CCSD meal sites will give children a familiar space to Meet Up and Eat Up all summer long.
The BackPack for Kids meal program is also available during the summer, providing supplementary meals and snacks to sustain children through the weekend. BackPacks will be available at every open Three Square sponsored Meet Up and Eat Up location.
For a comprehensive list of locations, you can visit freesummerfood.org.