There are 13 million kids living with hunger in the United States today. Many of those children rely on the free meals they get at school. For them, summer can be the hungriest time of year.
For years, community leaders have stepped up to fill that gap, offering free meals at schools, local parks and public libraries. We operate a Free Meals Finder service that parents and caregivers can use to find these neighborhood sites.
No Kid Hungry has supported these local summer meals programs for years with grant funding. But they simply don’t reach enough children - especially in rural areas where it can be difficult to get children to community sites from their homes during the work day.
But today we have an extraordinary opportunity to solve the summer hunger crisis. Thanks to the work of No Kid Hungry and others, federal programs are now available to help families buy groceries during the summer - along with meals delivery and pick-up services for those who live in rural communities.
“A lot of these kids, the only meals they get is at school," said Willard Malone, who delivers meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee. "During the summer we worry about if they get anything at all. So what we're trying to do is supplement that by giving them a week's supply of food, breakfast and lunch.”
Together, these new programs can reach millions of children in the United States. But there’s a huge task ahead as we work to help schools, community organizations and state agencies implement them - and ensure that families and communities are aware of them.
With your support, we’ll make sure every child gets the healthy food they need to have a great summer.