Spreading the Word About Free Summer Meals Available for Children

The United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and End Hunger Connecticut! are hosting a “United Way Day of Action” on June 21, 2018 that, “will focus on helping families in New Britain access nutritious summer meals and engaging children in summer learning.”

End Hunger Connecticut! says that, “Summer Meals are free, nutritious, meals and snacks that are provided to kids and teens, 18 years of age and younger, throughout the summer when school is out.”

The meals are provided as part of the federal Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is the program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA says that the program, “ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.”

End Hunger Connecticut! says that, “Summer Meals meet federal nutrition guidelines and are comprised of milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat or another protein.”

Information on Summer Meal locations is available by texting “CTMeals” to 877877 or by calling 211. End Hunger Connecticut! also has a “Summer Meals Locator” website, to help families locate, “Summer Meal locations near you.”

The locator identifies three sites in New Britain:

  • The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center School at 300-330 John Downey Drive, with breakfasts Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 9:00am and lunches Monday to Friday, 12:30pm to 1:30pm.
  • Greater Harvest Church at 365 C John Downey Drive, with breakfasts Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 9:00am and lunches Monday to Friday, 12:00pm to 1:00pm.
  • YWCA of New Britain-Berlin at 19 Franklin Square, with breakfasts Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 10:00am and lunches Monday to Friday, 11:00am to 12:00pm.

The United Way’s 211 program says that, “There is no charge for any of the meals.” It says that the federally funded program is for children up to and including eighteen years old and children with disabilities, “through age 21.”

The 211 service says that to obtain service from the Summer Meals program, “Go to the site; It is not necessary to pre-register; Also, you can call the program sponsor to verify times, meals served and addresses.” The 211 program also says that, “Most sites are ‘open’ sites, and they do not restrict by address or income. ‘Closed’ sites are limited to the children enrolled in the program and are not open to any other children.”

The June 21st, “United Way Day of Action” will be held at at the New Britain Housing Authority at 16 Armistice Street, in partnership with End Hunger Connecticut!, the Consolidated School District of New Britain, the Connecticut State Department of Education, the USDA, Whitsons Culinary Group, the city of New Britain and the New Britain Housing Authority.

The United Way is seeking volunteers for two activities on June 21st.

The first activity is a “Summer Meals Blitz,” from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, in which volunteers, “will pound the pavement and distribute information to local families throughout New Britain to help raise awareness about free summer meals.”

In the second activity is a Block Party, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, in which volunteers will be, “Registering attendees, executing activities and helping families access FREE summer meals.”

The United Way invites those interested in volunteering to contact Phil Blonski at 860-493-1132 or pblonski@unitedwayinc.org.