USDA

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School is nearly out for the summer. And that means thousands of children who rely on free or reduced price school meals are at risk of going hungry. That's why there's a USDA-funded summer meals program. In Rhode Island, the program serves an average of 300,000 meals each summer.

Rhode Island Community Food Bank will begin delivering boxes of food to low-income seniors. That’s thanks to the expansion of a federal program for seniors in need, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Boxes of canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, pasta and other items will be delivered to low income elderly Rhode Islanders starting this summer. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) helped secure federal funding to bring the US Department of Agriculture nutrition program for poor seniors to Rhode Island and six other states.

The undersecretary for the US Department of Agriculture will be in Rhode Island Thursday to draw attention to the number of children who go hungry in the summer. The USDA said only a fraction of the 51,000 Rhode Island kids who depend on school for lunch take part in summer food programs.

Summertime is often a hungrier time for children who depend on free or reduced lunches at school. So during the summer the USDA offers programs across the country to help fill bellies. Undersecretary Kevin Concannon visited one such program in New Mexico that continues to haunt him.