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Akron, Ohio

City of Akron to Provide Free Meals through Summer Food Service Program

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Twelve locations will also participate in the Summer Reading Program to encourage summer reading practice and back-to-school readiness

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander-Nischt
Published: 06-12-2018

Akron, Ohio, June 8, 2018 As another school year comes to an end, Mayor Dan Horrigan is proud to announce that City of Akron Recreation Bureau will once again be participating in the federally-funded Summer Food Service Program this year.

“There is nothing more important than making sure our young people have the nutrition they need to grow, learn, and live healthy, productive lives,” Mayor Horrigan said.  “Research tells us that children who are hungry or food insecure are less likely be in good health, to form friendships, to be curious, and to learn. For some of our families in need, the meals provided by schools are their children’s primary source of nutrition. Through the Summer Food Service Program, we are able to continue to offer our children these essential meals at no cost throughout the summer, so that our students can return to class in the fall healthy and ready to learn.”

Meals will be provided to all eligible youth (18 years of age or younger) and summer day camp program participants that meet the income guidelines for reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. The income guidelines for reduced-price meals by family size are available upon request. Children who are part of households that receive foods stamps or benefits under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are automatically eligible to receive free meals.

The City is also pleased to announce the continuation of its Summer Reading Program, and is thrilled to be doubling the number of locations in 2018. The City of Akron will once again be partnering with the Akron Public Schools (APS) and Summit Education Initiative (SEI), to host its successful summer reading program, starting June 11th and continuing through August 9th.  All children are eligible to participate, but the program is targeted at helping Akron students in kindergarten through fifth grade practice their reading with support from a community volunteer.  For the convenience of families, all twelve summer reading sites are also sites offering free lunch. 

“Our Summer Reading Program, which includes one-on-one sessions with volunteer tutors, helps stem the tide of reading loss and sends students back to school in the Fall, prepared to start the new school year off right,” said Mayor Horrigan. “I thank President Sommerville and our partners on City Council, Akron Public Schools, and SEI for once again supporting these critically important programs for Akron’s young people.” 

The Summer Reading Program partners are also seeking volunteers to read to students. “This is a great opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of a young person,” Akron City Councilman-at-large Jeff Fuso said of the program. “We encourage everyone to consider volunteering to read with a student—whether for just one hour or throughout the summer.”

 

"With each successive summer, we further extend the learning experience. Whether it's reading, science and math or something in the arts, it is vitally important our students are stimulated over the summer," added David W. James, superintendent Akron Public Schools.

“After analyzing last year’s program data, we saw significant increased reading gains over the summer for third through fifth grade student,” said Derran Wimer, Executive Director of SEI. “The program is promising for students in the intermediate grade schools years provided they can attend 15 tutoring sessions or more.”

Acceptance and participation requirements for the food service program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Parents interested in registering their children for the Summer Reading Program and community members interested in volunteering should contact Roberta Rogers, Summer Reading Program Coordinator, at (330) 812-7878 or [email protected]. Volunteers can register for a location and a time slot at bit.ly/readingvolunteer.

For information or about summer meal program sites or details, please contact: Audley McGill, City of Akron Food Service Program Coordinator at 330-375-2826 or [email protected].

To file a complaint of discrimination, write or call immediately to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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