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Capital City Farmers' Market home to free summer meals for kids

farmer_s_market.jpg
James Morrison
/
Delaware Public Media
Dittmar Family Farms at Capital City Farmer's Market

 

The Capital City Farmers’ Market in downtown Dover opened for the season Wednesday. In addition to offering the usual array of fresh and local produce, the market will also be a site for Delaware’s summer meals program, which provides free meals to all children under the age of 18.

“We know when kids go without food or without regular food they tend to have more health issues. There’s a bigger summer learning loss, which we’re trying to prevent. So, if we feed them all summer long and engage them all summer they come back to school in the fall ready to learn,” said Aimee Beam, who runs the program for the state of Delaware.

There are more than 300 summer meal sites around the state, according to Beam. These sites are targeted at areas where children gather and can include parks, libraries and apartment complexes.   

The summer food program served 800,000 meals in Delaware last year and Beam expects to serve more meals this year.

Capital School District sponsors the summer meal site at the Capital Farmer’s Market every Wednesday at lunch time. A portion of the food served is locally-sourced.

Funding for the program comes from the U-S Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. It's administered by Delaware's Department of Education.