SHOW ME THE RECORDS: Summer Food Service Program site list provides families with free meal locations

Monday, June 11, 2012 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 6:04 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 11, 2012

Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.

For a complete list of Show Me the Records, go to

The records: A list of Summer Food Service Program sites that provide free meals during the summer to children under the age of 18 who are in need. The program is part of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Why you'd want the records: This list shows every free meal location and its hours of operation in the state of Missouri and is searchable for Columbia locations. During the summer, the program provides hundreds of meals per day to children who would normally rely on free and reduced-price lunches through their schools. There were seven free meal locations through the program in Columbia during summer 2011.

Where you get the records: Visit the food program's website at Click "Sponsors" in the bulleted list near the top of the page to download a PDF version of the list. Or, scroll to the bottom of program's site and click on "Find an SFSP site near you" to view an interactive map that will point out the most convenient sites for you based on your ZIP code.

How much it will cost: The information is free. 

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Ray Shapiro June 11, 2012 | 12:23 p.m.

The saddest thing I heard on the news over the weekend is that the city's health department spokesperson stated that they discovered that many of the children eating at these locations threw a lot of the food away, if they just didn't like the food being served.
If these children are hungry, then both they and their children should appreciate the fact that the food is available.
If truly hungry, why throw it away?
I would also like to read in the Missourian how much it costs taxpayers to provide "free lunch" to the children of parents who don't groom their children to appreciate that which is being provided to them.
Unfortunately these programs are now expected, only to encourage a spoiled attitude among those who receive "free food."
Better to teach parents how to feed their own children with food stamps, WIC, TANF, AFDC, food banks, food pantries, church provided resources and inter-family cooperation then this "feel-good" summer food program which only perpetuates giving up your children to the government and then these parents opt to buy McDonald's and other fast food meals to their kids, instead of having quality meal/talk time at home or on private family park setting picnics or fishing outings at some of our local lakes.
Do these parents even know how to hard boil an egg, cut up some celery, mix in some mayo and put it between two slices of white bread. Or better yet, teach their "under 18 year old" kids how to do it?

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