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Santa Fe Free Lunch Program To Serve More Students This Summer

Santa Fe Public Schools will be offering free lunch and breakfast at about a dozen schools during the summer. It's the tenth year for the meals program, but coordinator Betsy Torres says she expects at least 2,000 children this year. The program usually serves around 1,500.

From The Santa Fe New Mexican

"The program is a way to feed kids for free so they can stay healthy throughout the summer," said Betsy Torres, the summer food-service coordinator for the district. "The district wants its kids healthy when they come back to school." The eligibility requirements are pretty wide open, she said: "Kids have to be between 1 and 18. You can walk into any school even if don't go to that school." Adults can take part in the program, too, paying $1.25 for breakfast and $3 for lunch.

Torres says the economic times are making it harder for parents and the program ensures that children get at least two well-balanced meals a day. The school district is working with the state Children, Youth and Families Department to offer the meals.

A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report ranks New Mexico 13th when it comes to food insecurity, and the New Mexico Collaborative to End Hunger estimates that one in five children are unsure where their next meal will come from.