Rochester’s Summer Meals program begins Wednesday

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wednesday is the first day of the City of Rochester’s Summer Meals program.

School’s out, and that means thousands of children lose access to healthy meals.

Case in point – five thousand children will be fed on weekdays for the rest of the summer in the city.

The goal is to make sure students can get a free and healthy meal all summer long when they don’t have access to school meals. A survey from 2018 found that between 30% and 40% of children experience food insecurity in some parts of the city.

“I hate to think that it is the only meal but unfortunately it is. So that’s why the RCSD does provide both breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday free,” Chief of Operations for RCSD Jacob Scott said.

Foodlink is one of the sponsors of the Summer Meals program and works to deliver meals to locations by car.

Over the summer – the Rochester City School District provides meals for its students- and Foodlink provides for the rest of the city.

“Foodlink has always pride itself on healthy meals. Really going above and beyond those federal nutrition guidelines and standards and so you see a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy, all the food groups are represented in our meals. Making sure kids are getting a quality and healthy scratch made meal,” Director of Marketing and Communications at Foodlink Mark Dwyer said.

Free breakfast and lunch is provided to any child who needs it in the Rochester area.

“Families get to know their sites as the summer goes on and they now have a reliable access to those meals throughout the summer. We really pride ourselves on the fact that a lot of kids benefit from this program,” Dwyer said.

In Wednesday’s case, it was the students of Monroe High.

“The meals are actually pretty good,” Senior Cashmere said.

“I like how they’re balanced. You see vegetables, you see fruits, you see milk, you see water. It’s all balanced so it’s not too much of one thing.  It actually provides nutrients to the students throughout the day so they have energy to be able to do their work,” Senior Ivone said.

You can find a list of all the summer meals sites here.