A concerted, community effort to feed more children from low-income families during the summer met with some success last year.
Daily participation in summer meal programs rose 3 percent last summer thanks to outreach efforts by government, nonprofit and community organizations that joined together to spread the word, according to information from the Rochester Area Community Foundation.
The number of daily meals served increased from 5,195 to 5,376 with 325,889 total meals served last summer, according to data tracked by the New York state education department and analyzed by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.
The push by the Summer Meals planning committee — which included the city of Rochester, Foodlink, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, the community foundation and the Rochester City School District — reversed a 15-percent decline in participation over the previous three years. The collaboration’s goal is a 20-percent increase in summer meal access by 2016.
Plans for this year’s summer meals initiative will be announced in April. For more information, visit www.racf.org.