The Ohio Department of Education once again is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program, which provides children ages 18 and younger with free meals during the summer break when they no longer have access to school breakfasts and lunches. Children with disabilities and approved individualized education programs can participate through age 21.
No sign-up is required for children to receive a meal.
State education officials said the food program is intended to help children return to school ready to learn by providing nutritious meals that will continue a child's physical and social development during the break from school. Research has shown that children who miss breakfast and lunch are more likely to be sick, inattentive and score lower on achievement tests.
Last year, more than 3.95 million meals were served to Ohio children through the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
To find a location and meal times near you, call 1-866-348-6479, visit education.ohio.gov/KidsEat or download The Ohio Department of Education Mobile App for free.
More than 1,400 sites are registered in Ohio, including roughly 30 locations in Stark County.
Most of the Stark County sites are open weekdays and nearly all of them offer a free lunch. Just over half of the sites also offer a free breakfast.
Most of the Stark County sites will continue serving food through at least the first week of August. State education officials advise to call the food site before visiting.
Among the Stark County sites serving free breakfast and lunch each weekday is Minerva Elementary School, 130 Bonnieview Ave., Minerva; open through Aug. 16. Call 330-868-6293.