Summer Meals Partnership meets hungry children where they are


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The goal is to make sure no child in Rochester goes hungry this summer.

Foodlink and RTS, the Regional Transit Service, are renewing their Summer Meals Partnership to bring nutritious meals to children in neighborhoods that are not located near the traditional grab-and-go sites.

The program runs Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day through September 3. Children 18-under are eligible to take advantage of this free service.

Josh Wilcox, Foodlink’s Manager of Strategic Initiatives, discussed the program Wednesday during News 8 at Noon.

“Foodlink will be continuing our partnership with RTS, the Regional Transit Service, in getting meals to children in neighborhoods that may be within a mile or so from a traditional grab-and-go static location,” said Wilcox. “We really want to be able to continue to break down the barriers that folks may have in walking or finding transportation to those static sites and meeting people where they are.”

Five zones within the City of Rochester have been established for the mobile meal drop-off locations. They are the 19th Ward, Maplewood Neighborhood, Lyell-Otis Neighborhood, Northeast Rochester between Portland and Culver/Waring, and the Northeast between St. Paul and Hudson.

Wilcox said the meals will vary from day to day but contain common ingredients. “Our lunches will always include a protein food, a grain, some fruits and vegetables, and milk on the side.”

Summer Meals is a federal feeding program that’s designed to give food to children who are home during the summer in households where parents traditionally rely on school meals. “We want to be able to provide those meals for children throughout the summer as they’re home from school,” Wilcox said. “We know that the pandemic increased the number of food-insecure households due to job loss and things of that nature. We really just want to be able to do our part in making sure that we utilize the funds from the government to be able to give meals to households that need it because we know that children are the future and we want to be able to nourish them and give them the food that they need to be healthy, to be able to strive in society and be the leaders that we know they can be in the future.”

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