Children and parents across Kansas can find the nearest free-food site this summer by sending a quick text.
With the system, developed by No Kid Hungry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents can find summer meal sites in their communities by texting the word “food” and their ZIP code to 877-877. Within seconds, a text message listing participating locations and their hours of operation will be sent.
By texting the word “comida” to the same number, parents can access the meal-site information in Spanish.
Forty-four sites around Wichita offer free breakfasts, lunches or afternoon snacks as part of Kid Power Cafe, an annual summer food program that runs through Aug. 11.
The program is open to all children younger than 18. No meal reservations are required, and there are no qualifying guidelines or paperwork to fill out.
The texting service is available across the United States, including Kansas.
The database of sites comes from USDA data that is updated weekly, according to No Kid Hungry. If no sites are available in the user’s area, a text directs him or her to the National Hunger Clearinghouse hotline for additional assistance. That number is 866-3-HUNGRY.