(FRANKFORT, KY) – While participation in the Summer Food Service Program is on the decline nationally, Kentucky’s participation increased in 2018 for the third year in a row, according to a new report from the nonprofit Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). The number of meals served to Kentucky’s children increased by 15.1% in 2018, which is the second greatest increase nationally.

The center’s annual Summer Nutrition Status Report:  “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation” was released July 10 and can be found on the FRAC website.  The report uses free and reduced-price meal participation in the National School Lunch Program as a benchmark to compare summer meal participation in the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option. Between the months of May and August, children 18 and under from low-income families receive free meals as a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program, administered by the Kentucky Department of Education.

More meal sites were added in Kentucky during July 2018 than any other state, meaning there were more opportunities for children to find a summer meal.  Kentucky has nearly 10% more meal sites in 2019 compared to 2018, with more than 2,800 sites across the state. This summer the Kentucky Department of Education is working with feeding sites in seven Kentucky districts to provide free books and literacy resources to children and families that attend.

Meal sites are at a variety of locations that are easily accessed by children and families. To find a meal site near you, text the word “Food” or “Comida” to 877877. When asked to provide a location, entering a street address provides the most accurate list of nearby meal sites.

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider. Visit the USDA website to view the USDA’s nondiscrimination statement.