Free Meals for Kids in Need at Zebulon Farm Fresh Market
Many children face a major challenge in the summer—access to food. When school gets out, they are no longer able to have breakfast and/or lunch through the school’s free and reduced breakfast/lunch program. Fortunately, children that visit a registered summer meals site can get free meals, and this summer, the Zebulon Farm Fresh Market is serving as one of those sites on Saturdays.
Market Manager Maurine Brown expects to kick off this program at the market this Saturday (check the market’s Facebook page for updates). The market is open Saturdays 9 am-1 pm through October 8, and children up to 18 years old will be able pick up a free lunch at the market throughout the summer.
Wake County Human Services’ Sonya Reid, who coordinates the Wake County Farmers’ Market Coalition, invited Market Manager Maurine Brown to consider serving as a summer feeding site this year. Brown was eager to help the community in this way, and partnered with the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina and Zebulon United Methodist Church (ZUMC).
The Food Bank provides the market with shelf-stable meals the market can distribute to children, and ZUMC is helping to spread the word. The church supports the Backpack Buddies program during the school year and has its Brown Bag Ministries to serve people in need, but Saturdays were a gap. The market is filling that gap and helping to feed children so they can thrive, grow and be active during the summer. “We’re so glad that our market can partner with others to serve our community,” Brown said.
The Eastern Wake News began spreading the news in mid-May with this article, and ZUMC has reached out to its Backpack Buddies families and others to let them know. ZUMC also distributes the farmers’ market’s fliers about accepting EBT/SNAP benefits and the market match that EBT shoppers can receive to stretch their dollars.
The Plantation Point Farmers Market in Raleigh is also working to become a summer meals site for children. Summer Meals Sites in Wake County
Families can find nearby free summer meals sites in one of three ways:
- Visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks
- Call toll-free 1-866-348-6479
- Text FOODNC to 877-877