Park and recreation agencies serve 560,000,000 meals to children through summer and afterschool programs each year.
However, during the summer months alone, nearly 18 million children from low-income families are still without the critical safety net of nutritious meals. The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reports that more than 21 million children receive free and reduced-price school lunches during the school year. However, when schools let out for the summer, the number of children receiving support through food service programs drops significantly, to just over 3 million. Unfortunately, this issue is not confined to just summers, but exists during before and afterschool periods as well.
The National Recreation and Park Association is working with national partners to address this staggering statistic and eliminate child hunger during all out-of-school times. As the largest public provider of children's meals during the summer months, park and recreation agencies are capable of quickly and effectively reaching children in need with nutritious meals. In fact, park and recreation agencies are on the front line in addressing many community health needs, including children's nutrition.
To learn more download NRPA's fact sheet on the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Child Nutrition Programs here.