For most kids and teens, summer is a time for fun. But for kids in our region who don’t have food at home, summer can mean long and hot days without enough to eat.
One third of food insecure people in our region are kids. As a result, summers can be particularly challenging for kids that rely on school breakfast and lunch programs. Each year through our summer meals program, we provide the nutritious meals kids need to continue growing and learning – even when school isn’t in session. With significantly more families experiencing food insecurity due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, this summer was no exception. Check out this summer’s meals for kids by the numbers:
Summer meals fuel summer fun and learning!
Access to daily summer meals helps kids feel full and energized, so they can be ready for summer adventures, and spend summer growing, learning, and playing outside. Operating through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), our Kids Summer Meals Program delivers healthy, kid-friendly meals to apartment buildings, community centers, places of worship, and other locations in neighborhoods in our region where children are at risk of going hungry during the summer. Many of our program sites also offer sports and academic activities, while also providing them with good and healthy food.
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. According to data from our 2020 Hunger Report, the number of children in our region experiencing food insecurity almost doubled over the past year. The impacts of food insecurity on kids is wide-ranging and can often ripple into adulthood.
With proper nutrition during the warm summer months, kids are more likely to remember what they’ve learned during the school year, setting them up for success in the year to come. Over this summer, roughly 6,000 individual kids received meals. This means 88,880 total breakfasts, lunches, suppers and snacks served to kids throughout the summer – more than 44,000 meals per month.
We couldn’t do it without our partners!
This year we worked with 45 partner sites across the region to provide meals over the summer. In partnership with recreation centers and many of the same locations that provide after-school meals during the school year, our partner locations offer children a safe place to eat, learn and play.