Senator Stabenow Announces Permanent Funding for Summer Meals for School Aged Children and Expanded Flexibility to Meet Children’s Needs in Hazel Park

Senator Stabenow’s legislative victory will feed 21 million children across the country and almost 900,000 in Michigan this summer

Thursday, June 27, 2024

HAZEL PARK, MICH. – As students begin their summer vacations, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was joined by community leaders in Hazel Park to announce new summer meal options for school-aged children in Michigan and across the country. This new funding targets the summer hunger gap where millions of children lose access to school breakfasts and lunches they receive during the school year.

Senator Stabenow was joined at United Oaks Elementary School by Dr. Diane Golzynski, the Deputy Superintendent for Business, Health, and Library Services for the Michigan Department of Education, Dr. Amy Kruppe, the Hazel Park Schools Superintendent, and Dr. Darienne Hudson, the CEO United Way of S.E. Michigan. United Oaks Elementary School serves traditional summer meals to children.

“Summer should be a time when children can learn, grow, and play without worrying about where their next meal will come from. I’m so proud that the Governor and the State Legislature have acted to make sure every Michigan child has access to healthy meals during the school year. My legislative victory is focused on making sure children have the same access to healthy meals in the summer regardless of where they live in Michigan. This is bringing us one step closer to ending childhood hunger,” said Senator Stabenow.

“While in Congress, Senator Stabenow has worked hard to expand access to nutritious school meals for children in Michigan and across the nation,”said Dr. Diane Golzynski, Deputy Superintendent for Business, Health, and Library Services for the Michigan Department of Education. “We will miss her leadership. Michigan is proud to have worked with Senator Stabenow to be a leader in both summer and school meals. With over 1,400 locations where children can eat meals on-site and nearly 400 locations statewide for pick-up meals at Rural Meals To Go sites, parents have options for finding healthy food for their children this summer. Meeting the nutritional needs of children both at school and during the summer months support Goal 3 of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan, which is to improve the health, safety, and wellness of all learners.”

"Access to summer meals provide essential nourishment for our families and students, ensuring children continue to receive the vital nutrition they need to learn, grow, and thrive even when school is out of session. Access to these meals is crucial for all students and families, particularly those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE), who may not qualify for traditional assistance programs but still struggle to make ends meet. By extending access to summer meals, we can help bridge the gap and support the well-being of every child in our community,” said Dr. Amy Kruppe, the Hazel Park Schools Superintendent.

“Summer food programs, like summer EBT and MUEU play a crucial role in ensuring children have access to nutritious meals while school is out,” says Dr. Darienne Hudson, President and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan.”As we face unprecedented challenges, including the recent findings from United Way’s ALICE Report which shows 41 percent of families across the state are struggling to meet basic necessities like food, housing, and utilities, programs like this are essential. We appreciate Senator Stabenow’s longstanding support throughout her career addressing food insecurity and working toward a stronger, healthier community.”

Summer Meal Programs

There are now three types of summer meals programs for eligible children up to age 18:

Traditional Summer Meals: These congregate summer meals must be eaten on site and typically also offer other enrichment activities. There is no application and meals are free for all kids.

Rural Meals To-Go: These free non-congregate meals, or meals to go, are available in some rural areas. Families can pick up a meal or multiple meals, or have meals delivered to their home through flexible options.

Summer EBT: This grocery benefit provides $120 per child for the summer to eligible low-income children to buy food when school is out. Children are eligible if the household participates in an assistance program like SNAP or Medicaid, or if the child attends a school that participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program and the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals.

How to Connect to Summer Meals and Programs Near You

Resources to locate the Summer Meals and Rural Meals To-Go sites near you:


Text: “Food” to 304304

Call: 211

Information for Summer EBT:

Further Information on Summer Meal Programs for Families and Site Sponsors:

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