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SUMMER MEALS AND THE BIG APPLE GAMES

 
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DMCKEON
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:27 pm    Post subject: SUMMER MEALS AND THE BIG APPLE GAMES
From Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:00 am to Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:59 am (included)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 28, 2010

N-97, 2009-10





NYC DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCES THE START OF FREE SUMMER MEALS AND THE BIG APPLE GAMES, A FREE RECREATIONAL PROGRAM FOR NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL CHILDREN



The New York City Department of Education today announced a joint kick-off of its annual summer meals program and the Big Apple Games, a recreational program for children. Both programs are free. The summer meals program provides meals throughout the summer to New York City children 18 years old and younger. The Big Apple Games offer activities for children eight years old and older.



Summer meals will launch on Tuesday, June 29 and run through Friday, August 27. Breakfast and lunch will be served at various pools, schools, libraries, parks, public housing sites, and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs. In total, meals will be available at more than 1,000 locations citywide. The Big Apple Games will offer activities at 56 locations across all five boroughs beginning on Tuesday, July 6 and running through Thursday, August 12. The Department of Education’s Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), which oversees high school varsity and junior varsity competitive sports during the school year, runs the Big Apple Games. This summer, the Big Apple Games will include basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, swimming, football, soccer, lacrosse, cross country, track and field, and arts and crafts programs. Children can register daily at each site during the six-week program, which will also provide free breakfast and lunch to participants. Deputy Chancellor for Infrastructure and Planning Kathleen Grimm was joined at today’s kickoff event at P.S. 146 in East Harlem by U.S. Department of Agriculture Director for Special Nutrition Programs John Magnarelli, Director of the Child Nutrition Program for the State Education Department Fran O’Donnell, Andrea Thompson and Aisha King of the American Dairy Council, P.S. 146 Principal Mona Silfen, as well as elected officials and representatives from community-based organizations.



“Our goal is to combat childhood obesity year round,” Deputy Chancellor Grimm said. “Our summer meals and Big Apple Games programs help City children maintain a healthy lifestyle during the summer months when school is not in session. Each year we try to make it convenient for families by providing summer meals at locations where they congregate. To this end, for the first time, we will be operating two mobile refrigerated trucks that will provide meals at playgrounds and beaches.”



In an effort to make the summer meals program even more accessible and convenient, the Department this year will operate two mobile refrigerated trucks that, for the first time, will deliver meals directly to playgrounds and beaches where many families congregate. One of the mobile trucks, operated by Share Our Strength®, a national organization that combats childhood hunger, will stop at twelve playgrounds throughout the City. The other truck, operated by the Department’s Office of SchoolFood, will operate at Coney Island, Rockaway, and Orchard Beaches. These locations were selected because they traditionally draw large crowds.



Breakfast is served from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. This summer’s menu includes many long-time favorites such as pancakes, scrambled eggs, bagels with yogurt cream cheese, tacos, barbecue-roasted chicken, corner-style pizza, crunchy carrots, “confetti” corn salad, chicken tenders salad, and a cold vegetable stew with zucchini, corn, tomato, and basil. All the meals provided are low in fat, low in sodium, and prepared without artificial colors or sweeteners. The Department’s summer meals program, which is administered by the Office of SchoolFood, has been operating for more than 30 years.



“Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the summer meals program, no application is required, and meals are available at any of the open sites, regardless of where a child lives,” said Eric Goldstein, CEO of SchoolFood, Transportation, and the PSAL. “In addition, we are offering terrific athletic programs that are fun and promote fitness among youngsters at all levels of athletic ability.”



The Big Apple Games is in its 31st year of operation. Last year, more than 30,000 children citywide participated in the program. It is partially sponsored by the American Dairy Council, which provides students access to New York Liberty games and basketball clinics. In addition to the Big Apple Games, the PSAL offers Junior Lifeguard Training instruction at 13 pools citywide. Select sites will also be offering programming for children with special needs. Certified teachers and school safety officers will be on-site at all programs.



For more information on locations for Big Apple Games and summer meals, families can call 311.



###



Contact: David Cantor / Margie Feinberg (212) 374-5141
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