The Calvert County Family Network (CCFN) will pilot the county’s first mobile summer meals program in the Chesapeake Ranch Estates (CRE) with support from a $6,500 No Kid Hungry Maryland grant and approximately $7,500 in Children’s Cabinet Funds from the Governor’s Office for Children. The program is an effort to provide nutritious lunches to youth during the summer months when they no longer have access to school meals.
The program will operate Monday through Thursday from June 24 through Aug. 1, with lunches prepared, delivered and served by Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) staff at the CRE clubhouse from noon to 1 p.m. No ID or proof of residency is required to participate. No registration is required and participation is first-come, first-served. The program is open to all family members but individuals must be present to receive a lunch.
For families that need transportation, LifeStyles of Maryland will transport participants within CRE to and from the clubhouse. The service requires a waiver and a participation slip signed by parents or caregivers. Passengers must be 5 years or older to ride alone; younger passengers must be accompanied by someone 13 years or older.
Members of the Calvert County Interagency Council will provide enrichment activities during meal times.
Every Thursday, program participants will receive backpacks containing supplemental food for Friday through Sunday, provided by Heart F.E.L.T. of Southern Maryland.
Farming 4 Hunger donated tower gardens – a low-maintenance vertical growing system – to the meal preparation site at Mill Creek Middle School, giving CCPS food service workers access to fresh produce. Farming 4 Hunger will also coordinate a food drop with the Maryland Food Bank, providing fresh produce from the farm to program participants. Food drops will occur every Wednesday from July 3 through July 31.
For many kids, summer is the hungriest time of year. Only about 22% of Maryland children who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches are also getting free meals through summer programs. Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn and general well-being.
No Kid Hungry Maryland has awarded more than $75,000 in grants to allow free summer meal sites across the state to expand and improve programs to reach more youth during summer months. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org.
Operating under the Calvert County Department of Community Resources, the Calvert County Family Network partners with county leadership, public and private agencies and businesses to build a community where children and families thrive. For more information, call 410-414-5997.