JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has set up an online map and number to help families find free summer food programs in the coming months.

The Summer Food Service Program from the DHSS is structured to help families during the summer find breakfast, lunch, and even snacks for children in qualifying areas of the state. During the summer, some children may not have access to free or reduced-price meals normally provided through their school.

The interactive map provided by the department allows families with children to find out where they can receive the meals they need.

The food comes from community organizations serving areas where children gather like schools, churches, parks, and Boys & Girls Clubs. Meals are served to all children (<18), regardless of income. There is no fee and no registration required.

One of those locations is the Salvation Army in Springfield.

“We serve lunch to those kids as well as breakfast,” said Darla Harmon, Development Director with The Salvation Army. “We serve approximately 50 kids per week.”

Harmon said the need for this type of resource is only enlarging this summer. 

“With everything increasing,” said Harmon. “Prices at the grocery store, prices at the gas pump. Food is a significant need in Greene and Christian Counties.”

Families without internet access can text “Summer Meals” to 914-342-7744 for a list of areas serving meals.

More information can be found here.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture