Dairy farmers like the Mesch family of JLM Dairy in Collins, N.Y., are doing their part to make sure students in New York state’s metropolitan areas have access to milk and meals when school is out through the Summer Meals program.

Summer Meals – Buffalo, New York

Recently, Lisa Mesch and daughter Erie County Dairy Ambassador Jocelyn Mesch, along with Erie County Associate Ambassador Payge Murray, took a Holstein calf to downtown Buffalo to kick off the city’s Summer Meals program that provides milk and meals to students when school is out.  They were joined by Buffalo Bills player and dairy advocate Isaiah McKenzie as part of ADA North East’s partnership with Fuel Up to Play 60.

Summer Meals – New York City

Similarly, at the Summer Meals event in New York City, former Jets player Tony Richardson and former Giants player Amani Toomer joined ADA North East to promote dairy and Fuel Up to Play 60.

Why support Summer Meals?

ADA North East and dairy farmers like the Mesches from across the region are committed to working with school districts and anti-hunger advocates to promote the availability of Summer Meals to feed more children. Funded through USDA, meals are free to children 18 years and under and include milk and other nutritious foods like fruit and vegetables and more.

When school is out for the summer, millions of children lose access to school breakfast and lunch leaving them at the risk of going hungry. According to Feeding America, one in seven children face hunger. Furthermore, of the 20 million students across the nation who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, less than five million participated in the Summer Food Service Program last year, leaving 15 million children unserved.