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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Statewide Free Summer Meals Program For Kids To Kick Off With Events In 3 Towns

Paper bag lunches lined up on a table and plastic bags of cucumber slices.
Melody Bodette
Free lunches prepared to be delivered to Starksboro children in the summer of 2015. The 2018 free summer meals program is about to get started in Vermont, with three kickoff events planned.

The nonprofit Hunger Free Vermont is working with school districts around the state to kick off this year’s statewide free summer meals program.The three public kickoff events will be held at:

  • Milton Middle School on Friday, June 22
  • Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro on Monday, June 25
  • Main Street Park in Rutland on Tuesday, June 26

Rebecca Mitchell, child nutrition initiatives specialist at Hunger Free Vermont, said the kickoff events are a way to bring attention to the program.
“It’s really about getting kids and their families excited about these opportunities,” said Mitchell. “We want to build community partnerships, and if the summer meals are seen as a really fun event, that makes it feel like a really inclusive environment.”

Anyone age 18 or younger can get a free meal this summer at one of the approximately 300 sites around the state.

Throughout the summer, meals are served at public parks and pools, libraries, farmers markets and schools, and the meals are often paired with either enrichment or physical activities to keep kids moving and learning. 

According to Hunger Free Vermont, last summer more than 480,000 free meals were served in the state. Vermont also is ranked second nationwide for serving meals in summer to those who receive free or reduced-price lunches throughout the school year.

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