WAILUKU - Summer is here again, and the county Department of Parks and Recreation's PALS Program is working to make sure that keiki don't go hungry when school is out.
The county wants to inform low-income families that their children can continue to receive nutritious meals if they take part in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
SFSP is the largest federal resource available for local programs that combine mealtime with recreational and educational activities.
In an ongoing program, Kimo’s Restaurant honors “Educators of the Month” at Lahainaluna High School. Pictured, from left, are May winner Aviva Bender-Tualemoso, Kimo’s Marketing Coordinator Laura Blears and April winner Nancy Young.
County-wide, only 10 percent of the 11,000 children who qualify for summer meals have access to local Summer Food sites. Last year, there were 14 sites across the county that participated in feeding more than 1,525 children.
This year, the PALS Program has 19 sites serving more than 2,047 children on Maui, Molokai and Lanai.
Aunty Ti of the PALS Program explained, "Our responsibility to children doesn't end when school lets out. Children who get enough to eat and have safe activities to participate in during the summer are less likely to get into trouble.
"Our summer meals program is a building block in the community for healthy, happy children who are ready to learn."
For more information on the Summer Food Service Program, contact PALS staff at 270-7404.