This is what summer should look like family, friends, fun, and food:
But for families dealing with food insecurity, summer can be a struggle as their kids lose access to school meals. Instead of darting around the playground or taking a dive in the local swimming pool, kids feel the growl of an empty stomach.
Summer is the hungriest time of the year.
Nearly 200,000 children are at risk of hunger in the Washington D.C. metro area, and their food insecurity is heightened during the summer months. During the school year, these kids may have access to free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches, but those meals go away during the summer. Research shows that family grocery costs can rise more than $300 a month when school is out and kids are home. This forces many families to make hard choices between paying for food and paying to keep the lights on or to pay for health care. This leads to hunger and anxiety for families, and for children in particular.
Summer hunger has long-term consequences. Without proper nutrition during the warm summer months, kids are more likely to experience “summer slide,” forgetting much of what they’ve learned during the school year. This puts them at a disadvantage as they start the next year.
That’s why it’s essential to connect kids with the good food they need to thrive throughout the summer.
Run in partnership with recreation centers and many of the same locations that provide after-school meals during the school year, the food bank’s 58 Summer Meals locations offer children a place to play, learn, and eat healthy meals and snacks during the summer days.
And for kids who can’t make it to a summer meals location, we operate the CAFB Mobile Meals Bus. Now in its fourth year, the bus brings healthy lunches to children living in high need areas on the Route 9 corridor that are cut off from traditional brick and mortar locations by a highway.
Access to daily summer meals helps kids feel full and energized, so they can be ready for summer adventures, and spend summer the way it was meant to be.