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Metro Action Ensures Nashville’s Youth have Access to Food When School is Out

Lisa McCrady, 615-862-8860, Ext. 70144, Cell 615-668-7388

According to the American Community Survey, the poverty rate of children under 18 living in Nashville is 23.7% . This is higher than the general population of families living in poverty in Nashville, which is 14.5%.

The Metropolitan Action Commission has partnered with 87 locations throughout Nashville and Davidson County where at least 50% of children that qualify for free and reduced meals during the school year reside or gather for the summer.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) allows Metro Action and other agencies that sponsor the free meal program to ensure all children, particularly youth that count on free meals at school, receive nutritious meals in the summer months when school is out.

Parents and youth can find the food site near them by texting “Summer Meals” to 97779 or visiting the Summer Food Rocks link. This information is also available by calling the USDA National Hunger Hotline (1-866-348-6479, press 2).

Meals are provided in locations such as apartment complexes, community centers, libraries, day camps and sports camps.

“It is important that we cover as much of Nashville as possible to ensure youth are fed this summer,” said Marvin D. Cox, Community Programs Director.

Metro Action also has three mobile youth café diner that are located in communities that do not have a facility to accommodate the meals. The diners are converted school buses that now have a diner-style seating, wireless internet access for electronic youth activities and other activities.

The food program will be offered throughout the summer until August 2. The youth does not need to provide any documentation to receive the meals.

The Metropolitan Action Commission is the largest provider of summer meals in Davidson County. The agency receives federal funding through the SFSP from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services to cover the cost of the meals. Last summer Metro Action prepared 190,008 breakfast and lunch meals at 87 sites.