More low-income children in Arizona are getting the free summer meals that help their families stretch food dollars, although a new report from the Food Research and Action Center says many more could be served.
It says more than 462,000 children get free or reduced-price lunches in Arizona schools, but only about 60,000 receive the free summer meals. One dilemma is that summer food often is tied to summer school or other enrichment programs. Crystal FitzSimons with FRAC says budget cuts have trimmed many of those programs.
FitzSimons says another challenge is making the meal sites convenient for families, especially in rural areas. Arizona added 32 summer meal sites in 2012, and fed 23-percent more children at more than 400 locations.