Seeking Community Partners to Provide Free Summer Meals to Youth

Posted on Mar 27, 2018

For some kids, the only healthy meal they may consume is a meal offered at school during the academic year. With summer around the corner, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC) Food Services is getting ready to provide no-cost meals to youth in the community aged 1-18 through its Summer Food Services Program.

According to California Food Policy Advocates’ 2016 Fresno County Nutrition and Food Insecurity Profile, 84,166 kids residing in Fresno County fall into a summer nutrition gap. These children missed out on access to nutritious summer meals that combat hunger and food insecurity, support year-round learning, and help prevent obesity.

Organizations where children (ages 1-18) gather together anytime during the summer months of June, July and August can qualify for no-cost nutritious breakfast, lunch, and supper meals. This includes sports teams, churches, summer camps, parks, libraries, community centers or any other location. No registration or documentation is needed from families.

The meals, prepared and delivered by Fresno EOC Food Services, meet strict United States Department of Agriculture and California Department of Education nutrition guidelines and are comprised of two ounces of protein, two servings of fruits/vegetables, one serving of bread, and eight ounces of milk. Meals must be eaten in a group setting and stay on location.

Fresno EOC began administering the Summer Food Services Program in 1991 with only two sites. Last year the program distributed food to 91 sites, including 65 urban and 26 rural locations, for a total of 69,685 meals served.

“We are looking to increase the number of sites we provide healthy meals to in order for more youth in our community to have access to this much needed nutrition,” says Morgan Terry, Fresno EOC Food Services Director. She encourages community groups to call (559) 266-3663 to inquire about becoming a distribution site.

“We cannot do this important work alone; we need community volunteers to come serve children. We will train you, provide you all tools and support, we just need you to be willing to hang out with some children and have fun,” says Terry. If you’re interested in volunteering, please call (559) 266-3663. Volunteers spend 2-3 hours per week day serving breakfast and lunch to children in community locations, such as parks.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program funded by the USDA and administered by the California Department of Education.

About Fresno EOC Food Services

Fresno EOC is a private nonprofit organization and provides opportunities and resources to low-income Fresno County residents. Fresno EOC offers over 35 comprehensive community-based programs that empower individuals to thrive as healthy, self-sufficient and contributing members of our communities. Fresno EOC Food Services Program provides healthy and nutritious meals to pre-school and school-age children, youth and young adults, seniors, and organizations requiring catering services.