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Remember to Donate to Food Banks During the Summer Months, When Schools Are Closed

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Remember to make a point of donating to your local food banks during the summer months, when schools are closed.

 

Students who receive free and reduced-price school meals can suffer during the summer, when their schools close. Their schools are often their most reliable source of nutritious meals. While many communities have programs that feed children under 18 during the summer, not all do.

 

It’s almost a cliche to volunteer at soup kitchens and food banks during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but summer is when the need can be keenest.

 

Food donations are always welcome at food banks, but donations of money are even more effective. Also ask your food bank if they accept donations of diapers, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products, which cannot be purchased with food stamps.

 

 

Find your nearest food bank:

http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

 

 

Donate to the AmpleHarvest.org food pantry network:

http://ampleharvest.org/donate-m1/

 

 

Find the nearest summer meals program in your community:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

 

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Community Activism

Help Feed Schoolchildren During Summer Recess

Help feed schoolchildren in your community during the summer recess, when some lose access to their most reliable source of nutritious meals.

Scores of low-income kids rely on their schools for food. For them, summer can mean two months of hunger. Fortunately, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recognized this need and provides information on summer meals programs across the country. In the summer of 2017, the USDA expects to serve more than 200 million meals to American children who are 18 and under.

Most deadlines for sponsoring programs passed in April and May, but it’s worth getting in touch with your relevant local government agency to see how you can help, be it providing a space to serve meals, cooking meals, or donating time or money. Spreading the word about local summer meals programs help, too.

 

Read about the summer food needs of school-age kids:

http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/when-schools-out-summer-many-kids-are-risk-going-hungry-v18751148

 

Find summer meals programs near you:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

 

See broader information about summer meals programs:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program

 

See the list of state contacts for school meals programs:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/school-meals-contacts