For many children, summer vacation is a time of freedom, fun, and relaxation. However, for some families, the summer months can be a time of worry and struggle when it comes to feeding their children. In fact, hunger in the summer is a significant problem in many communities, particularly for school-age children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year.
DURING SCHOOL YEAR
During the school year, many children receive breakfast and lunch at school through federal programs like the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. However, when school is out for the summer, these children lose access to these meals. For families who are struggling to make ends meet, this can be a significant burden.
WHY SUMMER = HUNGER
There are many reasons why hunger in the summer is a problem for school-age children. For one, parents who are working during the summer may not be able to afford to provide their children with regular meals. Additionally, transportation can be a challenge for families who live far from grocery stores or food banks. In rural areas, there may be few options for families who are struggling to access healthy food.
FOOD BANKS FILL THE GAP
Fortunately, there are many organizations and programs working to address this issue. Local food banks (such as Lincoln County Food Bank), community centers, and churches often provide meals and snacks to children during the summer months. Many school districts also offer summer meal programs, which provide free meals to all children under the age of 18. In some areas, these programs also provide transportation to and from meal sites.
If you are a parent or caregiver of a school-age child who is struggling with hunger this summer, there are resources available to help. Contact your local school district, food bank, or community center to learn more about free meal programs in your area. Additionally, many organizations provide resources and information about healthy meals and snacks that can be made on a budget.
In conclusion, hunger in the summer is a significant problem for many school-age children. However, there are many organizations and programs working to address this issue and ensure that children have access to the healthy food they need to thrive. If you or someone you know is struggling with hunger this summer, reach out to Lincoln County Food Bank for help and support. Together, we can work towards a future where no child goes hungry. If you’d like to help address this problem in our community, visit our Partner with Us page for more information.