There is a Summer Food Service Program in the Duke City and throughout the state of New Mexico that provides free meals to all children ages 1-18 years old during the summer. Now even if a child is only doing remote learning, they are still eligible for these free meals. Program Manager Emiliano Perea discusses how the New Mexico Early Childhood Education & Care Department is making this work.
The Summer Food Service Program for Children (SFSP) is administered on the Federal level by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary purpose of the SFSP is to provide food service to children from needy areas during periods when area schools are closed for vacation. This Federally funded program was created by Congress in 1968 after studies had uncovered the direct link between a child’s ability to learn in school and their nutritional intake. USDA provides Federal funds to the State agency who in turn, acts as the pass-through agency and reimburses eligible organizations for the meals that are served to children and youth.