National Hunger Hotline connects parents with free summer meals for kids

Record temperatures this summer mean greater need for free, government-funded summer meals to low-income children, according to a news release from Hunger Free America, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group focused on increasing access to nutritious foods.

Children need just as much, if not more, nutrition during the summer months as they do the rest of the year; however, only 9.2 percent of Kansas students who receive free and reduced-price meals at school also receive meals over the summer, according to the group. Free summer meals are available to all kids 18 and under, with no identification required, through the federal government.

To bring awareness to free summer-meal programs, Hunger Free America is ramping up publicity efforts around the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Hunger Hotline. Through the hotline, callers can locate summer meal sites for kids, food pantries or soup kitchens for families, and/or other meal programs near them.

The National Hunger Hotline can be reached at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or at 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish speakers).