ProHealth Care will provide free daily meals for children and teens this summer as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program known as Summer Meals.
The federally funded, state-administered program provides free meals for children in low-income areas when school cafeterias are closed for the summer.
ProHealth participated in the program for the first time last year. More than 775 meals were provided at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital’s 725 Grille in 2018, exceeding the hospital’s goal.
This year, both the 725 Grille and ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital’s 791 Bistro will provide the boxed meals. ProHealth’s goal is to provide 1,200 meals this summer.
“We are expecting more children as more families learn about the Summer Meals program,” said Andrew Bergman, manager of food services for ProHealth. “We’re doing outreach in the local neighborhoods and schools to let them know about the program. We want to make sure that if a child needs a meal, they can find it at our hospitals.”
Bergman said ProHealth is expanding the program because it recognized the need for the meals from the number of children served last year. In addition to adding Oconomowoc Memorial as a weekday meal site, ProHealth will provide the meals on both weekdays and weekends at Waukesha Memorial this year.
Summer Meals will be available from June 10 to Aug. 30 at ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital’s 791 Bistro, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
The meals will also be available from June 11 to Aug. 30 at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital’s 725 Grille, seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The meals will be prepared fresh and meet federal nutrition guidelines for at least two ounces of protein in addition to fruits, grains and vegetables. A variety of foods will be provided, such as chicken salad wraps with celery and peanut butter, or peanut butter with jelly and carrots and dip.
Local families are welcome to bring children ages 18 or younger to one of the hospital cafes for free boxed meals. Signs will direct people to the meals.
ProHealth Care is the only health system in southeastern Wisconsin to serve as a Summer Meals partner. The program is an extension of the National School Lunch Program, which provides nutritious food for children in food-insecure households. The USDA estimates that 14 percent of households are food insecure. In 2018, more than 1.5 million nutritious Summer Meals and snacks were provided in the U.S.
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For more than a century, ProHealth Care has been the health care leader in Waukesha County and surrounding areas, providing outstanding care across a full spectrum of services. The people of ProHealth Care strive to continuously improve the health and well-being of the community by combining skill, compassion and innovation. The ProHealth family includes ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin, ProHealth Medical Group, the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care, Moreland Surgery Center, ProHealth AngelsGrace Hospice, ProHealth Home Care, ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center and ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Learn more at ProHealthCare.org.