Free meals are being served to children in Phelps County and many locations throughout Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is supporting families in need during the COVID-19 public health emergency through the Summer Food Service Program. 

The program provides breakfast, lunch or snacks to children living in eligible areas during the summer months and during times of public emergencies, when children do not have access to free or reduced-price meals at school.

The DHSS has provided an online interactive map to help families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer. In Phelps County  Newburg R-II School District at 701 Wolf Pride Drive is participating in the Summer Food Service Program.

During this time of social distancing, DHSS said many of the meals are being provided in a non-congregate, drive through, method to ensure the safety of the community. 

The meals are provided to all children that attend the meal service location. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program. 

“We are appreciative that the Summer Food Service Program has been able to assist in providing meals to families while schools have been dismissed due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the DHSS. “Knowing that the meals will continue for those families throughout the summer will provide some comfort during these unprecedented times.”

The map and more information about the Summer Food Service Program can be found at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp/. The map can be searched by city, county or zip code. 

For families without access to the internet, summer meal sites in the area can also be found by texting the phrase “Summer Meals” to the text number 97779. 

Meals will be served to children 18 year old and under. They are also provided to 18-to-21-year-old individuals that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or have a speech disability can dial 711 or 1-800-735-2966 to learn more about the program. 

Community organizations that would like to become sponsors may also email the Summer Food Service Program at sfsp@health.mo.gov or write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102 for more information.