USDA to offer free meals for EBR children and youth this summer

Published: May. 13, 2014 at 7:41 PM CDT
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From the Office of Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden

BATON ROUGE, LA - Any child 18 years old or younger in East Baton Rouge Parish is eligible to receive free meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program, regardless of household income.

The program is sponsored by school districts and other community organizations for children and youth summer activities, including summer schools, camps, and vacation Bible schools. However, children do not need to be part of a summer school or camp to receive free meals.

During the school year, 21 million U.S. children receive free and reduced-price meals through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. But when school is out, many children relying on these school meals go hungry. To fill this gap, the USDA provides free, nutritious summer meals to schools and other approved sites.

Schools and other sites with more than 100 children are typically eligible for meal delivery while sites with less than 100 children would need to transport children to an open site.

This summer, the program will have more than 80 dining centers in East Baton Rouge Parish, which are identified on the map at

Sponsors for East Baton Rouge Parish Summer Food Service Program include the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Central Community School System, the City of Baker School System, the Big Buddy Program, and the Particular Council of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge. Several other community organizations operate closed sites, meaning those sites serve only the children who are part of a specific program or camp. Individuals are encouraged to check with their nearest dining center for hours of service.

For more information about the program, residents can contact the East Baton Rouge Parish School System at (225) 226-3604 or the Big Buddy Program (225) 388-9737. Baker residents can contact the City of Baton School System at (225) 774-5795 and Central residents can call the Central Community School System (225) 650-2918 or (225) 650-2919.