United Way's 2-1-1 connects children with summer food program

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Schools across Rhode Island are breaking for summer vacation, putting pause to the breakfast and lunch programs that tens of thousands of children count on for meals during the academic year. Losing access to the program puts additional strain on families who may struggle to make ends meet.

In response, United Way of Rhode Island is reminding families and caregivers throughout the Ocean State they can find summer feeding programs serving kids in their community by calling 2-1-1. There are expected to be more than 150 sites in communities statewide offering a Summer Food Service Program.

“Too many children miss nutritious meals when they need them most simply because the school year has come to an end – we need to make sure families know where to turn to learn about what’s available to them,” said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of UWRI. “And that’s where 2-1-1 comes in, three simple numbers all Rhode Islanders can call when they need help or information and referrals to community resources.”

During the academic year, more than 70,000 Rhode Island students receive meals each day through the National School Lunch program. And last year, the state’s Summer Food Service Program served more than 400,000 meals.

Meals provided through the summer program are available at no cost to children ages 18 and under. There are no eligibility criteria or forms to complete, and no proof of residency or address required.

United Way of Rhode Island is changing lives and strengthening our communities by investing in proven programs that work over the short-term, and are scalable over the long-term. For more information, visit liveunitedri.org.

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