Summer Meal Partners
Background & Goal
Summer Meal Partners (SMP) of Northwest Ohio is a partnership dedicated to making sure every child is offered nutritious meals at no cost each summer. SMP is a collaboration of community organizations that have joined together to form community wide partnerships designed to create enrichment opportunities at meal sites in order to:
- Increase attendance
- Prevent learning loss
- Educate children about nutrition basics
- Encourage children to return each day
- Ensure greater supervision and safety for the children
- There are 54,135 children in Lucas County eligible for free and reduced price school meals. Of these children, 26,850 are estimated to be living in food insecure households where consistent access to adequate food is limited by lack of money and other resources.
- During the summer months, children are 2 to 3 times more likely to gain weight.
- Close to 80% of the students in the Toledo Public School District qualify for free or reduced meals.
- In Toledo. 24% of the population lives in poverty.
- Food insecurity can result in increased health, mental and behavioral problems. Poor nutritional intake affects a child’s learning potential.
- The Summer Food Service Program was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fill the gap during out of school time when children who especially rely on breakfast and lunch being provided at school will still receive nutritious meals.