The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. And as part of this program, many hospitals are opening their doors to kids in need of a good, healthy meal. These four hospitals have opened their doors through August to help fight food insecurity in their communities.
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1. Gundersen Health System
Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wis., will be providing free meals to kids throughout the summer, La Crosse Tribune reports.
Children 18 and under are able to receive free breakfast and lunch beginning June until the end of August.
Hospital officials say that the program is meant to ensure kids still have meals when school is not in session.
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2. UW Health
UW Health is taking part in SFSP for the second summer. Culinary services is providing free meals to anyone ages 1 to 18 at three of its Madison, Wis., locations from June 11 through Aug. 31.
UW Health’s chefs and culinary services staff are preparing fresh, locally grown and unprocessed foods that support good health, the operation said. Meals will be prepared fresh daily and include protein, whole grain, dairy, fruit and vegetables, and meet the Nutrition Standards for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for both meals and snacks.
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3. University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center
University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center serves meals from its cafeteria to kids ages 1 to 18.
The school district in Elyria, Ohio, is also operating a food truck for the first time to reach more kids in the community, according to the The Chronicle. The truck will stop at elementary schools throughout the town, delivering packed lunches during the summer.
“We just have to get the word out more,” said Tera Fridley, the district’s food service director with Sodexo. “It’s early in the season. The program just started Monday, but we are going to do this because we want to feed more kids.”
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4. Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) is participating in the Summer Food Service Program for Children, according to Caledonian Record.
“The school year ends and so do reliable healthy meals for many young people. This program is important to meet a vital need of these children who would otherwise be at risk for poor nutrition and the related negative consequences of it,” said Sharon Anderson, registered dietitian at NVRH.
Meals are available to all children 18 or younger at the NVRH Courtyard Cafe until Friday, Aug. 25.
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