Nutritional Development Services is seeking community partners to participate in its Summer Meals Program. This  initiative ensures that children and youth aged 18 or younger throughout the Greater Philadelphia area have access to wholesome and nourishing meals at no cost when school is out of session.

The Summer Meals Program is federally funded and operated nationally by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this region, it is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

NDS’ Summer Meals Program can be operated in various settings including schools, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks, and churches. In addition, non-traditional settings can include WIC offices, libraries, apartment buildings, townhouse community rooms, Family Service Centers, and more.

All meals are delivered daily ready-to-eat and no preparation is required. Summer Meals sites provide breakfast and lunch.

Meals include whole grains, low-fat milk, protein-rich foods, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. In addition, all meals follow federal guidelines for nutrition, and lunches provide children with 1/3 of their daily nutritional requirements.

“When most of us think of a child experiencing summer, we picture carefree days and fun adventures, but for many children, especially in our area, summers are difficult,” Lizanne Hagedorn, Executive Director of NDS said.

“More than 30 million children in the U.S. who participate in United States Department of Agriculture meal programs lose access to those meals during the summer. Many of those children experience hunger, and the various ramifications of that. The Summer Meals Program is a great way to address this problem.”

Those interested in signing up for the Summer Meals Program can call the Summer Meals Hotline at 215-895-3470, option 1.

For more information about the Summer Meals Program, visit here.