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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT: City, community kick off free summer meal program for kids

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
6/26/2011  7:30:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rachel Schulkin  (206) 684-8020


City, community kick off free summer meal program for kids
$225,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation helps expand program

SEATTLE – Southeast Seattle residents joined U.S. Representative Jim McDermott and Walmart executive Jennifer Spall for a community celebration to mark the start of the Summer Food Service Program, which offers free meals and snacks for kids.

The celebration was held on Saturday, June 25th, 2011, at the New Holly Gathering Hall in southeast Seattle.

Thousands of Seattle children ages 1 through 18 will enjoy free breakfasts and lunches this summer through the Seattle Human Services Department's Summer Food Service Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program, also known as "Summer Sack Lunch," is open to children at qualifying sites.

"When it comes to our kids, we must do everything possible to provide them the nutrition needed to be healthy, active and ready for the future," said Dannette R. Smith, director of the Seattle Human Services Department. "Working together with Walmart, Seattle Public Schools, and other community partners, we can make sure children have access to nutritious food year round."

The program runs from Monday, June 27 through August 26, 2011 at approximately 90 sites across the city. These include designated community centers, Seattle park playgrounds, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs, and other community sites throughout Seattle and parts of King County. There will be no service on the Independence Day holiday, July 4th, 2011.

Thanks to a $225,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, the 2011 program includes several enhancements:

  • Books! The Seattle Public Library will provide fun and educational programming, such as story times in five different languages. Free books will also be given to children at story time sites;
  • Fresh produce: The Puget Sound Food Network will help provide bags of fresh produce from local farms for families to take home for the weekend; and
  • Saturday sites: Several meal sites will offer lunch on Saturdays as a pilot project

Walmart's regional general manager of operations, Matti Havener, stressed the company's commitment to children this summer, saying, "Kids should have every opportunity to grow into successful adults and we’re doing our part to make sure that’s the case this summer. From helping thousands of kids stay active and learn, to supporting summer job programs and providing nutritious meals, we’re committed to making a difference."

This summer, Walmart is providing $25 million in grants nationwide to support summer learning programs, nutritious food and job opportunities for kids who need them most. Through its summer giving initiative, Walmart will feed 8 million nutritious meals to more than 85,000 kids, help 20,000 students enroll in summer learning programs and provide jobs and training to 5,000 youth.

Meals for children enrolled in programs: Some of the Seattle meal sites (about 30) offer the food program to children enrolled in specific activity programs. Meals are served to all children enrolled in the program for free. However, 50 percent or more of the children enrolled must be from families that are at or below the levels in the following table:


Household Size

Yearly Income

Monthly Income

Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly Income

1

$20,036

$1,670

$835

$771

$ 386

2

26,955

2,247

1,124

1,037

519

3

33,874

2,823

1,412

1,303

652

4

40,793

3,400

1,700

1,569

785

5

47,712

3,976

1,988

1,836

918

6

54,631

4,553

2,277

2,102

1,051

7

61,550

5,130

2,565

2,368

1,184

8

68,469

5,706

2,853

2,634

1.317

For each additional family member:

+6,919

+577

+289

+267

+134


Meals open to public: The majority of sites (about 70) will offer meals to the public and all children 18 years old and younger can come to have a meal.

For a complete list of sites and hours for the Summer Food Service Program, please call 206-386-1140 or visit www.seattle.gov/summerfood.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, and disability Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against should write immediately to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272 or 202-720-6382 (TTY). This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

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Human Services Department

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