ECECD NEWS RELEASE
The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department’s Family Nutrition Bureau and Public Education Department launched Summer Food Programs for ages 1 to 18 now through July 30, in most parts of the state.
Federal funding, provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, allows the state to provide nutritious meals to children and youth at more than 700 locations across New Mexico. Most serve breakfast and lunch with some serving dinner options.
Both ECECD and PED are working to expand access to program services as part of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s efforts to combine resources and bring statewide agencies together, targeting and closing gaps to halt persistent childhood hunger and food insecurity. Summer feeding programs are essential tools in the Governor’s battle against hunger, and both agencies are prepared to carry out any effort to that end.
“Healthy and nutritious meals are vital to the well-being and development of young children,” said ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “The Summer Food Program provides a stable and predictable source of meals for families during summer. With hundreds of sites all over the state, we encourage New Mexico families to seek out a program nearby to access free, ready-to-eat meals for your children.”
“Making sure that our children have what they need for success year-round is the charge for those of us in public education,” said Education Secretary Arsenio Romero. “Ensuring access to free, healthy meals all summer long is paramount among that charge. We are glad to partner with our colleagues at ECECD in delivering meals to our children.”
Since the beginning of the Governor’s administration, there has been a decrease in child hunger. Still, 1 in 5 children in New Mexico experiences food insecurity and many rely on school-based food programs to receive their main source of nutrition.
The program’s primary purpose is to provide free meals to fill the nutrition gap during summer school closure. These meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis and are available to all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil-rights activities. No registration or enrollment is required to participate in this program. Visit summerfoodnm.org for participating meal sites or call 1-800-328-2665 for more information.