U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to remind Ohio residents that the Summer Food Service Program can provide nutritious meals or snacks for students who might not be able to have access to them while school is out.
The federal nutrition program is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which operates the program at more than 1,200 sites in the state, said Brown, D-Ohio.
According to data released by the Ohio Department of Education, which administers the program in Ohio, more than 815,000 Ohio students received free or reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program in the 2012-13 school year.
The National School Lunch Program provides free, nutritious meals to children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level, and reduced-price lunches for those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level.
"For most Ohio children, the school year is ending and summer has begun," Brown said. "That's hundreds of thousands of Ohio students that might not have access to a nutritious meal at home or when school cafeterias close for the summer. That's where the Summer Food Service Program steps in."
The Summer Food Service Program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need throughout the summer months when they are out of school.
In Ohio, the program is run locally by approved sponsors, including school districts, local government agencies, camps, or private nonprofit organizations.
Among them is the Greater YMCA of Cleveland, which will provide nutritious snacks each Monday through Friday beginning Monday at the organization's branch at 631 Babbitt Road in Euclid.
"We have the capability to serve up to 70 children, said Rick Haase, YMCA of Greater Cleveland spokesman.
Children do not have to be members of the YMCA to be able to receive a snack, Haase said.
Among other local places participating in program are the Euclid Lutheran Church, which will serve lunches at 431 E. 260th St.; and the Euclid Police Department's mini station at 20001 Euclid Ave., Haase said.
Brown said organizations that are interested in establishing new centers may still be able to work with the Ohio Department of Education to set up new sites for this summer.