Summer lunch program makes a big difference in western Kansas
Hamilton County's Summer Food Service Program head cook Carlotta works with a student volunteer to prepare meals.
What we are doing:
During the summer, K-State Research and Extension agents at county and district offices across Kansas help provide nutritious meals to all interested children, ages 1 – 18, regardless of income or family status. The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program which is administered through the Kansas' Department of Education which, in turn, works with local agencies across Kansas, including K-State Research and Extension in many counties.
“We don't have to have any eligibility requirements, there are no family income requirements, we just offer a free lunch for kids 18 and under,” said Lora Horton, a family and consumer sciences agent with K-State Research and Extension’s Hamilton County office. “We also offer an optional adult meal for $5 so parents and family members can eat with their kids, if they wish.”
- This summer, Hamilton County served an average of 63 meals per day.
- Summer Food Service Programs bring together volunteers from across the community, ranging from retired adults to local 4-H members.
- By partnering with others in a community, such as local libraries or public pools, children can combine fitness, education and nutritious meals.
- In 2017, the Department of Education's SFSP served 1.41 million meals across Kansas and set a goal of 1.5 million this year as the number of sites and participants such as K-State Research and Extension has increased.