“In the summer, we have to buy more food because my daughters spend more time at home,” said Beatriz, a mother of two from Burlington, Colo.
“It's hard because sometimes I don’t have enough work either, and then there's only my husband’s income," she said. "There's bills, there's gas and so it's hectic. Sometimes we fall behind.”
Her daughters are like millions of kids in America who depend on the free meals they receive at school; meals that disappear during the summer.
All across the country, schools and community groups run summer meals sites where kids can eat breakfast and lunch - absolutely free.
These programs are intended to fill the gap for children who rely on school breakfast and lunch during the rest of the year. No Kid Hungry helps local organizations launch and operate these sites, and we also help fund needed equipment like coolers or mobile meals trucks.
But we've found that not enough families know about these programs.
To solve this problem, No Kid Hungry runs a summer meals texting service. The service is free, and open to anyone. A parent, grandparent or caregiver can simply text the word “FOOD” to 304-304 and the system prompts them to provide their address or zip code, which is used to provide the location and service times of up to three nearby summer meals sites.
Free neighborhood meals sites. Mobile food trucks. A national texting service. Thanks to programs like these, Beatriz was able to feed her daughters last summer.