Although school may be out, free lunches are still available for children in need in Las Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Sun, many children who participate in a program providing free or reduced lunches during the school year do not participate in the program in the summer, despite its availability.
Karen Vogel, a nutrition programs professional, helps administer The Summer Food Service Program. The program is a federal initiative that provides a quarter of a million meals to children in southern Nevada each year. The program has no cost and no application, and no one under 18 who walks in the door is turned away.
The program is hoping to bridge the gap in participation when school is out. Only one out of seven of children who participate during the year participate in the summer. Because of this, Vogel believes many children are going hungry.
Vogel attributes the lack of participation to the summer heat, the lack of buses, but most importantly, a lack of awareness. Vogel hopes to spread the word about the program so that children in need of a nutritious meal will be able to participate in one of the 57 “feeding sites.”