State officials to launch summer food program for needy kids

State officials have announced plans to offer free meals to needy children this summer.

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning officials say the meals are available for children 18 and under (and some eligible adults) through the Summer Food Service Program. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered in Georgia by DECAL.

More than a million of Georgia’s school-age children are eligible for free or reduced lunch when school is in session. The summer food program provides free meals in low-income areas during the summer months when students are out of school and may not have access to well-balanced meals.

“Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet is critical to children’s health, their success in the coming school year, and their overall well-being,” said nutrition services director Falita Flowers in a released statement.

The program provides “families a resource to fill the gap during the summer when children are out of school and do not have access to nutritious meals,” she added.

For more information about the summer food program and to locate a site where children can access nutritious free meals, visit the DECAL website.