Please contact Jhoana Molina, Maricopa County Public Health: 602-722-0509
Soup’s On – Arizona Children are Invited to Attend Summer Lunch Buddies Program
Free, Nutritious Meals Served 5 Days a Week to Kids 18 and Under
PHOENIX (May 31, 2018) – Arizona schools offer so much more than just teaching our kids their ABCs, science and math. For many in our state, it is also a place where kids get a free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunch, an essential ingredient to a developing child’s mind. According to the Food Research and Action Center, almost 500K kids in Arizona were on free and reduced-cost lunch, and 268K were on the school breakfast program in the 2016-17 school year. So, where can families go to make sure their kids have access to nutritious food during the summer months?
When school is out, Summer Lunch Buddies are in! Thanks to a partnership between the Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona Department of Health Services and organizations like the Maricopa County Department of Public Health’s WIC program, families can visit one of over 500 locations across the state serving free, nutritious meals to anyone 18 years or younger. Families are welcome to come for meals as often as they like, with no application or proof of income required.
WHEN: June 4, 2018 - July 31, 2018
WHERE: Visit maricopa.gov/SummerFood or text FOOD to 877877 for a list of locations
WHO’S ELIGIBLE: Children 18 and under. No application or proof of income is required.
PARENTS/GUARDIANS: Select meal distribution sites offer meals for adults at a minimal cost; visit website for locations.
Sadly, almost 15 percent of Arizona households are labeled as food insecure, meaning that the family does not have consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living. Household food insecurity has been linked to decreased health and development of young children, including but not limited to increased hospitalizations, poor health, iron deficiency, developmental risk and behavior problems, primarily aggression, anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder.