In New York City, 75 percent of public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. For some of the city’s most impoverished students, school lunch might be the one the one nutritious meal he or she gets for the day.
But what happens during the summer when school is out? Do these kids just go unfed?
Well, for the last few years, New York City’s Department of Education has operated a summer meal program to make sure no kid goes hungry, Education News reports. And this summer, the Big Apple got a little creative with their delivery methods.
Since June, four brightly colored food trucks have been roaming the city’s five boroughs, feeding healthy breakfasts and lunches to kids under 18-years-old for free.
These trucks stop at more than 1,000 locations such as pools, schools, libraries, parks, public housing sites, community-based organizations and soup kitchens. Serving healthy, low-fat fare such as blueberry granola, zucchini bread, omelets, bagels, tacos, salad, watermelon and grilled chicken, the trucks have handed out more than 4.4 million summer meals.
The program is sponsored by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Share Our Strength (SOS), an organization working to end childhood hunger in the United States.
“Ensuring the health of our children is our highest priority — and providing them with quality, nutritious meals is central to that,” said New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.
It’s important that no child goes hungry — how can he or she succeed on an empty stomach? As Billy Shore, founder and CEO of SOS said, “Making sure kids get the healthy food they need in the summer feeds more than just their bodies. It feeds their futures….If we want strong, healthy kids who can hit the ground running when school is back in session this fall, we need to make sure they’re getting the nutrition they need this summer. It’s that simple.”
The summer meal program ends in just a couple of weeks — on August 29 — right before the new school year begins. Those interested in finding the location of the nearest truck can text “nycmeals” to 877877.