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Free summer meal sites: find one close to you

July 02, 2019 05:25 PM

MECHANICVILLE - Officials with the United Way of the Greater Capital Region say 230,000 free meals will be served across five counties as part of the summer meal program this year. That's about 5,000 more meals than last year, and officials say the need for more sites is growing.

There are already 100 sites throughout Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie counties where free meals are being offered to kids under 18 for the summer. You can learn more about locations near you by calling 211 or by visiting Hunger Solutions NY.

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President and CEO of United Way of the Greater Capital Region Peter Gannon said 43 percent of the people in the Capital Region are either food insecure or at risk of being food insecure.

Gannon said extreme poverty levels have declined in recent years, which is a good thing. However, he said people who are in serious risk of falling below the poverty line has grown, even in places where you might not expect it.

"It's in places like Clifton Park, it's in places like Loudonville that we perceive as affluent areas, it's literally throughout the region," Gannon said.

Susan Starr is a teacher at Mechanicville Elementary School. She said she's seen firsthand how important these are sites to kids and their families.

"It's a great program that they offer just to come and kids are able to get lunch and I just think it's a great program to have during the summer time just so that they know that there's somewhere they can go to have that provided to them," Starr said.

Representatives from health care agencies and produce providers were also at the kick-off event offering help so everyone can stay healthy this summer.

You can find more information about summer meals in your area by dialing 211 or by going to Hunger Solutions NY.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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