Too many children are forced to come to school hungry every day, and any child forced to work on an empty stomach is fighting a losing battle.
Programs to feed schoolchildren are pivotal, and very successful.
Yet when summer vacation rolls around, where do those children get their meals?
What we do
The Capital Area Food Bank’s Kids Cafe is an after school resource providing snacks and warm meals to low-income children, but when kids are out of school for the summer – almost three months! – many are forced to go without.
During the summer, the Capital Area Food Bank uses the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to help cover the cost of free meals for children and teens.
Why we do it
Intensive studies have shown that children who go hungry at least once in their lives are 2½ times more likely to have poor overall health 10 to 15 years later, compared with those who never had to go without food. Hunger and food insecurity are damaging in terms of children’s life chances.
Of course, missing key nutrients and calories can have a devastating effect on growth and development, but the psychological stress of food insecurity — not being able to afford a consistent and high-quality source of food — can be harmful to youngsters as well.
You can help
Our Skip Lunch Feed a Bunch campaign this summer is a fun way to make a huge difference in a small way. Think about how much you spend on lunch, and consider that every dollar donated to the Capital Area Food Bank translates into almost three meals for a hungry child.
Our Skip Lunch campaign offers several ways to get involved. Many choose to make a quick donation through our website, while others like to “text to feed” and simply text the word SKIP to 85944 through their smart phones.
“We chose to raise money as a team, because our Girl Scout troop happens to be a very hard-working bunch of girls,” says Anne Ourand, leader for Troop 6534, in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, DC.
“Whether we are putting together care packages for So Others Might Eat or the variety of community events we work at here in the neighborhood, our girls have a strong sense of civic involvement,” Ourand says of the eleven middle-school girls.
Teams will compete during a two-week period: July 8-19, in an effort to see you can meet, or even surpass their goal.
The Girl Scout troop was one of the first to sign up as a team, and set its own fundraising goal. Who knows what other community troops will rise to that challenge!