Summer Meals Support Student Success

by | Jun 10, 2024 | News

Every summer, hundreds of kids take part in the Mission’s EdGE camps in Downeast Maine. These weekly camps include fun activities, time exploring the outdoors, field trips, crafts, games, and much more. The Mission works to make the camps affordable and accessible for families, and part of this includes offering free breakfast and lunch to all campers.  

“We know that many of our families participate in the free lunch and breakfast programs during the school year,” explains Downeast Director Jenny Jones. “It is important for these families that we continue to offer meals throughout the summer.”  To offer these meals at camp, the Mission works with the Maine Department of Education to become a summer meal site. 

To be a certified site, the person preparing the meals must be SafeServ certified and make the meals in a professional kitchen. All meals must meet the USDA nutritional guidelines that schools must follow and the kitchen must pass an inspection each year. Through the program, the Mission is reimbursed for the meals it provides.  

When families register for summer camp, they can decide if their child receives meals, regardless of their income status. Usually around 120 students receive two meals a day across all the sites. The meals are made in one of the participating school’s kitchens and then taken to the different camps. Breakfasts include fruit, a grain, and milk, and are often similar to what a student would receive during a regular school day. A typical lunch will include a sandwich (with protein), fruit, vegetables, and milk. The lunches are usually made to be eaten outside or on the go.  

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Summer camp is not the only time students in EdGE receive food. During every EdGE after school session, there is a dedicated snack time. Students can receive a snack from the EdGE staff, or they can eat their own snack. Both summer camp and afterschool sessions allow children and families to decide if they want to receive a snack or meal. 

Parents still have time to register their children for this year’s summer camps in Harrington, Addison, and Machias. Learn more and register.  

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