FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2021
Summer food programs for NM kids resume
More than 700 locations statewide to offer free meals for children, youth
SANTA FE – Free meal programs for children and youth are resuming at more than 700 locations statewide this summer, the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care and Public Education departments announced today. The two departments work together on summer feeding programs to make sure children and youth from 1 to 18 have access to nutritious meals from June through August. “These programs fill an important nutrition gap when school-based meal programs go offline for the summer and are an important part of our state’s fight against child hunger,” ECECD Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky said. “Nutrition needs for growing children don’t end when schools break for the summer,” Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said. “Having summer feeding sites across New Mexico ensures students have seamless access to nutrition programs year-round.”
Summer feeding programs are available in almost every community and neighborhood across New Mexico. Each site has been mapped and listed in a searchable format at Free Meals for Children | NM Summer Food Program (summerfoodnm.org). More than 70% of New Mexico public school students qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, although that is not a requirement for participating in the summer programs. All children ages 1-18 (as well as those older than 18 with disabilities) can receive free meals through the summer programs.
● No prior registration or enrollment is required for participation.
● In consideration of ongoing safety concerns due to the COVID-19 health emergency,
meals will be provided in a “grab-and-go” format.
● Meals at all sites meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional standards.
● Nearly all sites serve lunch, and many serve both breakfast and lunch
The summer feeding programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight
childhood hunger in a state where 1 in 5 children face food insecurity.
The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) launched in 2020, one of only four cabinet level agencies nationwide that consolidated all early childhood agencies under one roof. ECECD’s mission is to optimize the health, development, education, and well being of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through a family-driven, equitable, community-based system of programs and services. Learn more about how ECECD supports children, families, and the early childhood professionals that serve our communities at nmececd.org. On Facebook and Twitter as @NewMexicoECECD.