Dairy farmers Caleb and Alice Crothers from Long Green Farms, Rising Sun, Md., took a Holstein calf to downtown Baltimore to kick off the city’s Summer Meals program that provides milk and meals to students when school is out.

ADA North East and dairy farmers like the Crothers 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, and there are 10 sites available throughout Baltimore city.

“As a dairy farmer, I care deeply about providing high quality, nutritious dairy products to our community,” said Alice Crothers. “It was great to connect with these students who rely on school meals during the school year and in the summer about where their food comes from, and to have our daughters share about our farm and animals.”

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 in Maryland 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.