News or Noise: Facebook posts offer free meals during summer

June 08, 2017 09:34 AM

No one wants to see a child go hungry. That's probably why a social media post went viral recently that claims to help you locate free meals for underprivileged children during the summer months.

Here's the post – It began last month; it's already been shared thousands of times. There are different versions, but all say if you text the word FOOD to 877-877 you'll get a text back with nearby locations that offer free summer meals to children under the age of 18.

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So I tried it and number is legit. I got a text back asking for my zip code. So I put in our zip code on East Avenue. Unfortunately, I got another text saying there are no search results and to please check back later.

According the USDA's website, the free meals are provided through its Summer Food Service Program. It ensures low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, the USDA says it plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children at approved sites. One such program exists, for example, in Gates-Chili.

I emailed the USDA to ask when and where meals will be provided in our area. I never received a response, but the website does say that new sites will be added throughout the summer and to check back regularly. 

So if you see this post, feel free to share it because this one is news.


Jennifer Mobilia

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