Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Smart (phone) Search for a Summer Meal for Kids

Until about a month ago, the cell phone I carried with me was an early model of the Blackberry Curve, so I didn't worry much about mobile apps (since my unit had limited ability to access these applications).  My interest in apps increased significantly when I upgraded to an Android type of phone.

While most apps these days are all about entertainment, news and other types of information for personal use, I recently learned about new application that could be useful for anti-hunger advocates and for recipients of food assistance. This free mobile app, called Range, allows a person to locate the nearest time and place for school age youth to get a free meal during the summer time. The number of summer meal sites has increased significantly in New Mexico in recent years.

Of course, the creators of the app (the non-profit organization Caravan Studios) did not set up the feeding sites. These are locations that were set up through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program.  This app is especially handy when the map that the State of New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) created is not available, which was the case on Saturday, June 28.(I hope it has not been taken down! )

The app is available through the usual methods:

CLICK HERE for Windows Store App
CLICK HERE for Google Play
CLICK HERE for App Store

NOTE: sites are added or changed weekly to Range. If you don’t see sites in your area, check Range regularly.

Range is not the only option to find summer meals, and the creators of the app will the first to tell you that. They provide links to two other sites"
  • WhyHunger: find food  Enter your ZIP code on an Internet-enabled computer or laptop to find meal locations.
  • No Kid Hungry: text message Text FOOD to 877-877 to find a site near you. 
  •  For immediate help, Call the National Hunger Hotline: 1-866-348-6479
Range also encourages users to tell our communities about summer meals programs via links to outreach materials.

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