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"Super Summer" Campaign Serves up Free Meals

PHOTO: Girl eating a sandwich.
PHOTO: Girl eating a sandwich.
June 27, 2012

BALTIMORE - Meet an all-star, learn something new and receive a nutritious meal.

That's the pitch to families in Baltimore today to raise awareness about the "Super Summer" campaign, which serves meals at more than 400 sites - and Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is lending his star power to reach more families.

Less than half the children who receive free school lunches are receiving free summer lunches, says Anne Sheridan, director of the Maryland "No Kid Hungry" Campaign at Share Our Strength, so the campaign has been spiffed up with prizes and educational activities.

"A safe, fun and easy way to both prevent summer learning loss - because we know that happens in the summer when kids are out of school - and to make sure they're continuing to get nutritious meals."

Sheridan says Baltimore also is launching a new partnership to end childhood hunger today - similar to what's been done on the state level.

"The mayor has embraced the goal of making this happen in the city. We'll be working together to connect kids to federally funded nutrition programs in the next couple of years."

Those programs include school breakfast.

Families can find meal sites at YouthBMore.org, by calling 211, or texting "SummerMD" to 877-877. Summer meal locations include public schools, neighborhood parks, churches, libraries and community centers. Summer meals are available throughout the state.

The event will be held at noon today at John Eager Howard Recreation Center, 2100 Brookfield Ave., Baltimore.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD