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Mayor joins agency that prepares more than 7,000 free daily meals for Nashville’ s Youth

7/15/2015

Summer Food Program ensures children in low-income areas have access to nutritious food

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On Tuesday, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean joined Dr. Cynthia Croom, executive director of the Metropolitan Action Commission and the agency's Nutrition Team in preparing meals for 109 sites that serve free meals to Nashville's youth.

Mayor Dean and Dr. Croom worked in an assembly-line format to assemble, package and box the lunch meals for delivery. The meal that day consisted of fresh lettuce, chicken, cheese, mixed fruit, raisins and an oatmeal cookie. Each item was placed into an individual lunch container then sealed for packaging.

"The Mayor understands the work that we do and its impact on the food needs of one of the most vulnerable residents, our children. His support didn't just start today," said Dr. Croom.

Metro Action is the largest Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsor of free summer meals for Nashville and Davidson county school age children. The agency averages just over 7,200 breakfast and lunch meals prepared daily for summer sites such as summer camps, community centers and day camps.

In order for a site to be eligible to serve meals, it must be located in an area that has at least 50% of the community that are considered low-income based on household income. Children that receive meals do not have to provide any documentation for eligibility. The location of the program is what qualifies the facility to provide the free meals.

Last summer, Metro Action served 245,858 meals, which is an increase of more than 20,000 meals served. SFSP is a national food program for youth in low income areas to ensure they have nutritious meals when school is out.

The food program is federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Tennessee Department of Human Services receives SFSP funding for Tennessee, which is received by Metro Action as a pass through grant.

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