Children who depend on free meals at school in New Mexico have a place to go this summer now that the state's summer meals program is up and running.
The pre-packaged meals usually include a sandwich, carrots or another veggie, milk or juice and fruit, and for kids who might not otherwise get lunch at home during the summer months. New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department doles out the money to schools and local government agencies that hand out the meals at central locations in dozens of cities. Henry Varela is CYFD's spokesman.
"Really in all parts of the state, ranging from northern New Mexico all the way down to southern New Mexico there will be over 600 meal sites where the youth can go to get a nutritious meal free of charge," Varela points out.
The meals are paid for through a grant from the US Agriculture Department. Varela says CYFD expects up to 2-million meals to be served this summer, about 200-thousand more than last year. The Department has a toll-free number to call for locations of the free meals in particular communities - it's 800 EAT COOL.