US Department of Agriculture Summer Meals Program

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This article provides an overview of the US Department of Agriculture Summer Meals Program (SMP) and highlights opportunities to strengthen SMP's public health impacts. We also discuss initial SMP implications of 2 relevant policy provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127), signed into law on March 18, 2020. Ensuring access to summer meals among high-risk students can provide (1) supplemental nutrition assistance to families that helps address food insecurity during the summer months when there are no school meals, (2) healthy meals in structured settings that might help reduce obesity risk, and (3) support to other programs that offer other benefits such as education, physical activity, or job training.