Operation Food Search recently kicked off its eighth year as a sponsor of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is funded by the USDA and ensures that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. OFS teams up with area partners to create additional avenues and expand existing methods for providing meals to children 18 years of age and younger.
The summer meal program runs now through Aug. 9 with mobile and stationary service at nearly 60 locations operating Mon. through Fri. between the hours of 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. OFS and community partners – which have served more than 350,000 meals since the program’s inception in 2012 – have a 2019 goal to serve a total of 100,000 meals throughout the St. Louis region.
Mobile meal vans will serve locations throughout North City, North St. Louis County, South County and South St. Louis regions via three routes. Stationary service will be offered at two St. Charles City-County Library branches, nine St. Louis County Library branches, and three St. Louis Public Library branches.
OFS’s meal service provides a daily dose of nutrition along with a variety of games, arts, crafts, and STEM projects. The healthy meals fuel growing bodies while the engaging activities enrich curious minds. For the first time ever, kids and teens will learn this summer about good nutrition through hands-on cooking demonstrations led by OFS’s nutrition education team.
SFSP ensures that all children receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This loss of meals during summer months can cause struggling families to make difficult choices between food and other life necessities. Undernourished children return to school lagging behind their peers who do not live in food insecure households.
Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties.
Operation Food Search is located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. For more information, call (314) 726-5355 or visit http://www.OperationFoodSearch.org.