Ensuring Utah Kids Have Access to Nutritious Meals When School is Out

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While many children look forward to summer break for fun and games, it’s a different story for 1 in 10 Utah kids. Instead of packing for sleep-away camp, they worry about where their next meal will come from when school’s out. Without school meal programs, many families find themselves stretched thin, struggling to provide meals on already tight budgets. It’s tough going for our most vulnerable, chronically hungry students, who might have little to nothing to eat at home during those long summer months. Parents will skip meals, and children will go without all the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers food insecurity to be an economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Hunger, on the other hand, is an individual-level physiological condition that can result from food insecurity,

To help fill the summer meal gap, Utah Food Bank is again stepping up to help by extending our Kids Cafe Program. Through the Summer Food Service Program, we’re offering free meals to kids 18 and younger at various locations such as parks, libraries, and community centers.

One parent shared, “Groceries are expensive. It’s harder to afford healthy things; we’re just buying less and trying to find the things on sale. If it’s not on sale, we don’t get it.” Hearing stories like this is why Utah Food Bank works hard to ensure every kid, regardless of their family’s financial situation, has access to essential, nourishing meals.

This summer, we’re aiming big: over 428,000 meals served at 75 locations across several counties! From breakfast to supper, many sites will offer meals every day of the week. This summer we are also introducing Multi-Day Sites which provide weekly meal kits (7 breakfasts + 7 lunches) on designated days.

Just remember, kids must be present to receive their meals.

If you or someone you know needs help finding a meal site near you, simply text “FOOD” to 304-304. This free service will give you the location and times of up to three nearby summer meal sites. Meals will be provided from May 28 to August 19, check our WEBSITE LIST for exact dates— as they vary depending on location!

Please consider supporting efforts to fight hunger in Utah. Whether you donate food, time, or money, every bit helps make a difference. Click HERE to give now! Let’s make sure every child in Utah has a full belly and a summer filled with joy!

*All sites will be closed for Juneteenth (6/19), Independence Day (7/4), and Pioneer Day (7/24).