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Community center distributes more than 1300 summer lunches to children in need

Metro Brief

On September 15, 2015


For the second consecutive summer, the Takoma East Silver Spring (TESS) Center, part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Action Agency, served as a drop-in site for the Summer Meals Program, distributing more than 1,300 free lunches to children.

The Center partnered with Montgomery County Public Schools for eight weeks to provide free lunches to children 18 and under in the Long Branch community.

This year, more than 1,355 lunches were served throughout the summer – nearly twice as many as last year. As many as 269 children received free lunches each week and five high school volunteers supported the program, coordinating and implementing the lunch distribution. Student volunteers were attuned to the needs of the local community and earned Student Service Learning hours.

In Montgomery County, 37,150 children are food insecure, which is more than in any other county in Maryland. “Food insecurity” is a term used by the United States Department of Agriculture that indicates that the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire it, is limited or uncertain for a household.

Over one-third of students in Montgomery County Public Schools qualify for the Free and Reduced Meals Program (FARM). The federally funded Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to prevent children who rely on the FARM program from going hungry during the summer months when school is out of session.

The TESS Center has served residents for over 30 years, providing access to social services and resources. The center staff assists clients through information and referrals, free tax preparation, legal services, senior services and services for young children and their families.

For more information about the TESS Center, located at 8513 Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, visit the website or call 240.773.8260. 

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