Children are more likely to experience summer hunger as families struggle to make up for lost school meals.
In mid-Michigan, 21,660* boys and girls rely on the National School Lunch Program for free and reduced-price meals. And when school lets out, all those daily meals go away leading to a long summer of uncertainty. This uncertainty is something these children worry about at the beginning of each summer.
When school is out of session, community summer food programs make up the majority of food distributed. Children face various barriers experienced only during the summer, including a lack of access to meal sites, insufficient program awareness and limited resources when schools are closed. Children who miss breakfast and lunch are also more likely to be sick, inattentive and disruptive when they return to the classroom. (Feeding America).
In order to reach and feed so many children during these summer months, our network of agency partners band together to develop new, innovative ways to provide food. This summer, GLFB will be providing food for a collaboration between Eaton Rapids Weekend Food Backpack Program and Eaton Rapids Public Library. During each week of the library’s 12-week long summer reading program, children participating will be able to take home a backpack full of food.
With your help, we can make it possible for kids to just be kids.
*21,660 is the number of food insecure children living in mid-Michigan per data from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap study.