MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – CAPTAIN Community Human Services (CHS) and its partners are kicking off the 2022 Free Summer Meals Program at the Park Avenue Playground in Mechanicville. The launch will be held on Tuesday, July 5 at 11 a.m.

The Free Summer Meals program provides meals to qualified youth, 18-years-old and under, at locations throughout Saratoga County. CHS says that for the past two years, the USDA has issued a waiver to allow the program to serve all youth, but it expires on June 30.

CAPTAIN CHS Executive Director, Andy Gilpin, is disappointed that the USDA waiver will not remain in place to make sure that all kids throughout the county have access to free lunch during the summer months. The nutrition waivers allowed CAPTAIN CHS to offer meal pick-up and the opportunity for families to get multiple meals at once.

Without the waiver, youth must visit the meal site in person and consume the food on-site, according to CAPTAIN CHS. This can pose a challenge for working families, and those without access to transportation.

According to data from Feeding America, over 18,000 Saratogians are food insecure, many of them being children. In 2021, CAPTAIN CHS served over 19,000 meals throughout Saratoga County, nearly 60% more than before the pandemic.

Open location sites:

  • Cheryl’s Lodge
  • Corinth Elementary School
  • D&R Village
  • Park Avenue Playground in Mechanicville
  • Saratoga Village
  • Schuylerville Public Library
  • Other sites are available to local children in designated areas