For Kids, Summer is the Hungriest Time of the Year
Millions of children in the United States today don't get the healthy food they need. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, projections show that 1 in 6 kids could face hunger - a staggering figure.
During a regular school year, we can reach many of these children with programs like free breakfast, lunch and afterschool meals. But during the summer, when schools are closed, those meals disappear. Now, with the coronavirus closing schools early, the threat is even greater.
For millions of children, the answer is free summer lunch programs, run by local schools or community groups.
Like school meals, summer meals are paid for by the federal government. But unlike schools, with dedicated staff, professional kitchens, and steady resources, summer meal sites are harder to run.
Summer meal programs are also harder to find. Many parents simply don't know these resources are there for their children. No Kid Hungry runs a free texting service that helps families find meals in their neighborhoods. Parents and caregivers simply text the word "FOOD" to 877-877 to see all the nearby options. (The service is also available in Spanish by texting the word "COMIDA" instead.)
To make sure every child gets the meals they need, we also run a national awareness campaign every summer with ads, events and billboards so that people know that free summer meals are available, and how they can find them. In 2018, our supporters helped summer meals sites serve 5.3 million healthy meals to hungry kids during the summer.
In rural towns and counties, if parents work during the day, there may be no way for children to get to the places serving free lunches. That's why No Kid Hungry works with rural communities to find solutions, like food trucks that deliver meals to children.
And, because we know that people are out there right now coming up with effective new ways to feed children, No Kid Hungry seeks out innovative programs doing great work, helps them get the funding they need and shares their successful approaches with community leaders and policymakers across the country.
This work is critical for children every year, and even more so as communities continue to recover from the coronavirus. We hope you'll join us in making sure no child goes hungry this summer.