13.6 Million Meals Served to NM Kids through Summer Food Program Since 2011
ALBUQUERQUE -- Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced that the state’s summer food program has served more than 13.6 million nutritious meals to New Mexico’s children since 2011. The Governor also kicked off the program for the 2016 summer. The program is run by CYFD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Public Education Department.
“Providing nutritious meals to New Mexico’s children during the summer months fuels their bodies and minds while they are not in school,” said Governor Martinez. “It is such an important program for our communities, and I encourage parents to pull together for our kids to get them out to the summer food sites.”
New Mexico is a national leader in providing meals to low-income children. Last year, the Food Research and Action Center ranked New Mexico the No. 1 state for serving meals to low-income children over the summer months.
Since taking office, Governor Martinez has significantly expanded the summer food program. Since 2011, 13.6 million meals have been served to New Mexico children through CYFD and PED. This summer, that number is expected to exceed 16 million meals.
“Ensuring that our children have access to high-quality meals during the summer months goes a long way toward improving their quality of life,” said CYFD Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson. “Through the continued efforts of our communities to be a part of these summer food programs, thousands of children and youth will continue to benefit both mentally and physically this summer from these free nutritious meals.”
Last year alone, over 2.9 million meals were served to New Mexico children at over 900 statewide meal sites throughout the state. This year, it is expected that close to 3 million meals will be served with an estimated 700,000 of those meals being served in the Albuquerque area.
The summer food program serves free meals to all children aged 18 years and younger, and is funded nationally by the USDA. USDA Special Nutrition Programs Director Eddie Longoria joined Governor Martinez for the announcement.
The Summer Food Programs begins today and runs until August. To locate a participating meal site, or for more information on the Summer Food Program, parents can call 1-800-EAT-COOL (1-800-328-2665) or visit summerfoodnm.org.