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Academy Applauds Launch of USDA's Summer Nutrition Program for Kids

May 21, 2024 – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, applauds today's launch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's newly branded and packaged summer programs for children. Known as the Summer Nutrition Program (SUN) for Kids, this program addresses the 30 million children who participate in USDA's school breakfast and lunch programs on an average school day. When school is out for the summer, many kids could lose access to these healthy meals, but they still need nutritious food to grow healthy and strong.

"Ensuring every child and teen has access to healthy foods during the summer is essential for their growth, healthy eating patterns, and overall well-being. Nutritious meals will help fuel their extra active summer lifestyles and help establish a strong foundation for lifelong healthy eating habits," said Academy President Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND. "Many registered dietitian nutritionists run summer programs across the country and use their expertise to create menus with nutritious options. This program will assist the children who rely on meals during the academic year so they can continue making healthy choices. Every child deserves the opportunity to maintain the same level of nutrition they receive during the school year throughout the summer."

The SUN Meals program provides summer meals and snacks at no cost at schools, parks and other neighborhood locations. SUN Meals may have a different name in various locations, but the benefit is the same: meals for kids and teens, and opportunities to participate in fun activities.

Every child aged 18 and under can enjoy SUN Meals, some rural communities now offer SUN Meals To-Go, and eligible school-aged children can also receive SUN Bucks. Read more information on SUN Programs.

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