Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) launched its summer meals program this week and will feed thousands of students at sites throughout the county in the coming months.
An event celebrating the launch of the 2012 program was held at Rolling Terrace Elementary School Tuesday (June 26, 2012) and included Montgomery County Board of Education Vice President Christopher Barclay, Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr, Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin and other partners. This summer, MCPS expects that nearly 9,000 students will receive meals at 114 locations. Those locations include 10 walk-in sites, such as Rolling Terrace, where all children 18 and under can receive a free meal.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the MCPS Summer Food Service Program was created in 1976 to help bridge the summer break nutrition gap. Thirty-three percent of children in Montgomery County Public Schools are eligible for Free and Reduced Price Meals during the school year and that number has grown dramatically in recent years.
“Our commitment to nourishing the minds and bodies of our students extends beyond the school year,” said Shirley Brandman, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “This is a vital program for our community that is growing to meet the needs of our families.”
Staff from the MCPS Division of Food and Nutrition Services prepare and deliver the food to all of the program sites in the county. Last year, the program provided more than 320,000 meals.
Dr. Starr said the success of the MCPS Summer Food Service Program is due to the collaborative efforts of the community.
“We are grateful for the federal, state and local partnerships that help make this program possible,” Dr. Starr said. “Together, we are providing a critical program that serves those in need in our county.”
Councilmember Ervin added: “Hunger doesn’t take a vacation. The Summer Food Program provides nutritious meals for our students when school is out. In 2007, when I requested the expansion of this program, I had no idea we would now have 114 sites serving nearly 9,000 students.”
The MCPS Summer Food Service Program partners include the Montgomery County Council, Maryland Hunger Solutions, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, the City of Gaithersburg, the City of Rockville, the Judy Center and Linkages to Learning.
In addition to Rolling Terrace Elementary School, other school-based walk-in sites include: Fox Chapel, Gaithersburg, Maryvale, Harmony Hills, and Glen Haven elementary schools; Argyle Middle School; and John F. Kennedy High School. Meals will also be provided at two faith-based locations, New Creation Church in Wheaton and Millian Memorial UMC Church in Rockville. For the first time this summer, a medical office in Takoma Park, Global Pediatrics, will also serve as a walk-in site. Meals at the walk-in sites are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the week.
For more information, visit the Summer Meals Program website