Many children enthusiastically associate summer vacation with the end of classes and homework for the year, but for some of the 22 million children who depend on schools for free or reduced-priced meals, an essential ingredient of their life is noticeably absent: a steady source of food and nutrition. Children obtain 50% of their calories from food eaten at school. However, during summer vacation, with school no longer in session, many food-insecure children lose access to meals for free or reduced prices. During the school year, nutritious meals are available through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. But those programs end when school lets out for the summer.
Some research also suggests that child obesity rates increase in the summer; in some households, families may rely on cheaper, less healthy foods to stretch their budgets. Food insecure children often experience poor health outcomes including higher rates of chronic diseases and a higher risk of behavioral issues.
Hunger never takes a holiday. Donate your foods and organize a food drive so families in our community can have a summer filled with fun and not hunger.