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Free Lunch Program Open, Aims to Rebound After Storm

Children in Montgomery County can eat a free meal Monday through Friday until mid-August.

A free summer lunch program has been under way in Gaithersburg since mid-June, though The Gazette reports that workers struggled to reach children in need after the June 29 storm.

Qualifying children ages 18 or younger in Montgomery County can eat a free, nutritious lunch at designated public school locations from now through Aug. 17, with one location in Gaithersburg open through Aug. 24, according to a county press release.

See below for a list of local walk-in locations.

The entire program was forced to close Monday and Tuesday last week in the wake of severe power outages, and several locations remained closed through Friday, according to The Gazette, leaving those in need with few options.

All but one had power restored by Friday, it reported.

The meals are provided by the Summer Food Service Program, which is a product of partnership between the Maryland Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.

Montgomery County served 285,593 meals in 2010, according to the MCPS website. Nationally, the program served more than 2 million children at more than 38,000 meal sites that year, according to one of the USDA's public service announcements.

“Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process,” according to the USDA website.

The following are locations open Monday – Friday through Aug. 17 in the greater Gaithersburg area:

  • , 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • : 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. (*Will stay open through Aug. 24.)
  • , Germantown: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Argyle Magnet Middle School, Silver Spring: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • , Rockville: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Residents can search for the nearest walk-in site using this Summer Meals Google map locator.

To find meals and sites in your community, call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE. 

To volunteer, visit this website.

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