Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Kicks Off Baltimore City Super Summer
On April 3, 2013, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore Housing and partners kicked off Baltimore City’s Baltimore City Super Summer program at the John Eager Howard Recreation Center. This is the second summer for the initiative, which works to connect youth in Baltimore City with access to summer meal programs, reading, and other fun activities during the summer.
Goals for this year’s summer meals program include serving two million meals—twice the number served last summer—while enlisting 100 new sites for the free summer meals program, for a total of 600 sites throughout the city.
“While summer offers a break from school for young people, it is also a time when students are at a higher risk of hunger. In 2012, only 50 percent of kids who got free school lunch also got a free summer meal, a gap of almost 23,000 kids,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Working together with partners across the city who are committed to making sure our kids have enough to eat, we can meet this most basic need and ensure that our kids have a great Baltimore City Super Summer.”
Organizers are using data to identify the areas of greatest unmet need and will be focusing on nine target neighborhoods, including Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Central Park Heights, Sandtown-Winchester, Upton, Broadway East, Ednor Gardens-Lakeside, Coldstream Homestead Montebello and Reservoir Hill. In these areas, where the median household income is below the citywide median of $38,346, the data shows significant gaps between the number of children in the neighborhood and summer meal participation. In these neighborhoods, the Baltimore Partnership to End Childhood Hunger is working with community organizations to enlist local advocates for the summer meals program.
Free meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, are available for youth 18 and under at a wide variety of sites throughout the city, including recreation centers, schools, churches, and other locations. Complete information about meals is available at http://mdsummermeals.msde.state.md.us or by calling 211.
Baltimore City Super Summer is led by the Baltimore Partnership to End Childhood Hunger—a consortium of government, academic, and nonprofit partners including the Office of the Mayor, Baltimore Housing, the Family League of Baltimore City, the Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore City Public Schools, Parks and People Foundation, Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks, Share our Strength, Maryland Hunger Solutions, and others. The program aims to ensure that every child has access to meals, reading, and other fun activities during the summer.