CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you’re struggling to provide food for your kids this summer, here’s a bit of relief. Free summer food programs have begun across our area.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Summer Food Program begins Wednesday, offering free breakfast and lunch to any child ages 1 to 18.
The free hot meals are offered at more than 50 CMS cafeterias. You do not need to register, sign-up or show documentation. All you have to do to eat is show up during the breakfast and lunchtime hours, typically 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch.
Daycare groups, YMCA programs and church camps are also welcome to bring their kids to eat at any of the locations.
For families who live in a rural or remote area where it is difficult to get to a site, CMS also has the Lunch Express, a bus which delivers meals to set locations, including apartment complexes and churches. Kids can grab a breakfast or lunch tray and eat on the bus.
The goal of the program is to provide nutritious meals to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months when they are out of school.
“They are outside playing hard and they are really, really needing the nutrition in the summer,” said Margaret Cameron, MS, RD, LDN, Wellness and Marketing Specialist for CMS Nutrition Services.
Cameron is in charge of planning the meals for CMS students not only for during the school year but also during summer months. She said the menu over the summer is just as nutritious, and it also includes "kid favorites," to make sure it’s what kids like and that they’ll actually eat what is being served.
“We’ve got fresh, hot baked potato wedges and cheeseburgers today. We even have a treat, a chocolate chip cookie and it’s going to be warm,” Cameron said.
To apply to have your group receive free picnic meals delivered to your site, call CMS School Nutrition Services at 980-343-6041.
CMS' Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Can’t see the list? Click here for a complete listing of all summer food locations. For more information on the location near you, contact School Nutrition Services at 980-343-6041.
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