City launches free summer food program

Madison, Wis (WMTV) -- A free summer food program kicked off today at Aldo Leopold Park. The goal is to make sure no child goes hungry this summer.

About sixty kids received a free meal at the park. The city of Madison, REAP Food Group, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), Public Health Madison & Dane County are partnering to address food insecurity. The children’s free summer food program provides nutritious meals to all children 18 and under and their families. REAP Food Group and MMSD will be serving meals and providing farm-to-school activities throughout the summer at nearly three dozen sites citywide.

“So many of students and their families depend on our schools to get nutritious meals every day, and the fact that we can extend this throughout the summer is incredible,” Jennifer Cheatham, MMSD Superintendent said. “Having access in the summertime to nourishing, well-rounded meals is so important for our students.”

The city of Madison said last year they served a total of 193,000 meals, and this year they hope to increase that number.

"It's really cool. I'm really really happy that this is working out and I'm hoping that we can keep our numbers up over the course of the summer,” Leah Coke, REAP Food Group server said. “Because really this is all about access. It's about making sure kids can get the nutrition they need, even when school isn't in session."

All of the summer food program sites will feature locally grown, farm-fresh vegetables coordinated by REAP Food Group and MMSD Food and Nutrition Department.

Visit https://food.madison.k12.wi.us/ for a list of locations and meal times or text "food" or "comida" to 877-877.