Choctaw Nation Offers Children's Summer Food Program

TALIHINA, Okla. – The Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority (CNHSA) is participating in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for Children again this year.

“Over the summer, the Choctaw Nation anticipates feeding free of charge a number of youths, 6-18 years of age,” said Debra Queen, director of Food and Nutrition with CNHSA. She added, “A person 19 years of age with a mental or physical disability, and who participates during the school year in a public or private nonprofit school program for the disabled, is also eligible to receive free meals.”

Requirements for the program are the same for all, regardless of ethnic origin, sex or disability. Participants do not have to be Choctaw or have any other tribal affiliation. However, the picture is expected to look a little different in 2020.

“In past years the Choctaw Nation has filled the void for feeding children in the region,” said Queen. “Both caution over the coronavirus and the fact that some public schools are now providing meals means fewer youth may be at the Choctaw programs.” But the important thing is that children are being fed, she added.

SFSP-funded meals will be provided at the following sites and times:

  • May 4 through Aug. 14
    Choctaw Nation Youth Center, 13835 SE 202 Rd., Talihina
    Monday-Friday: Lunch, 11 a.m.-Noon & Afternoon Snack, 2:30-3 p.m.
  • June 1-30
    Choctaw Nation Community Center, 400 Center Point Rd., Wilburton
    Monday-Frday: Serving lunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • July 1-31
    Boys & Girls Club of Leflore County, 301 Clayton Ave., Poteau
    Monday-Friday: Afternoon Snacks, 2:30-3 p.m.
  • Additional food serving sites

Other summer program times and locations are expected to be announced as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

SFSP was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that all children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals that meet federal nutrition guidelines are provided to youth at approved sites in generally low-income areas.

For information about the Summer Food Service Program, contact Debra Queen at 918-567-7058 or

Picture of grade-schooler eating lunch
Photo by Deidra K. Elrod / Choctaw Nation
After a morning of burning up energy, one youth at Choctaw Nation Youth Center in Talihina is ready to enjoy lunch.


Picture of workers preparing to serve local children
Photo by Deidra K. Elrod / Choctaw Nation
Workers with the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority Summer Meals Program prepare to serve local children at Choctaw Nation Youth Center in Talihina.



CNO Global Pandemic notice:

Due to the Emergency Declarations of Chief Batton, the President of the United States, and health authorities in response to the global pandemic, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) has enacted several measures. CNO has canceled or postponed large public gatherings, temporarily closed Casinos & Resorts, Head Starts, daycares and other childcare facilities, and modified operations at other businesses and health services. The Choctaw Nation continues to monitor the latest information from health authorities and experts. CNO remains in communication with state health officials to ensure that appropriate steps are taken for the safety and wellbeing of our tribal members, associates, vendors, guests, and our communities.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with nearly 200,000 tribal members and more than 10,000 employees. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, the historic boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please go to