New Mexico is a state where many are impoverished.
Tragically, young children often struggle with food insecurity during the summer months when they cannot rely on their schools to provide meals for them.
On top of these already dire circumstances, gas prices and grocery costs have escalated significantly. This has meant that a lot of families cannot pay for food for their children.
Fortunately, New Mexico Early Childhood and Care Department, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, aims to fill that gap: it provides nutritious—and free—meals to everyone who is 18 or younger. Every locations offers lunch, but quite a few also offer breakfast and lunch. Meals are available though August 2022.
"Administered by the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program fills the gap created when school-based meal programs are on pause during the summer. In New Mexico, one of every five children experiences food insecurity." —Albuquerque Journal Staff Report
Being a kid or navigating adolescence is difficult enough as it is: no one should have to suffer from food insecurity during the summer months.
"No child should have to worry about going hungry when the school year ends...The Summer Food Service Program ensures that all children in New Mexico can receive and benefit from healthy and nutritious meals throughout the summer months.” —ECECD Cabinat Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky
There are no family income requirements for people to participate and registration is not required. Meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis.
"There are no family income requirements to participate. Registration and enrollment are not necessary. Meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis. While each meal site serves lunch, many also provide breakfast and lunch. There are more than 550 meal site locations around the state. To find a meal site, go to summerfoodnm.org or call 800-328-2665." —Albuquerque Journal Staff Report