Summer is a particularly difficult time of year for our nation’s food banks. Donations always decline following the holiday season and reach a nadir during the summer months. The timing couldn’t be worse, either. Food banks also face their greatest need during the summertime. The reason? Families with children who had been receiving free or reduced-cost breakfast and/or lunch at school need to find a way to replace those meals during summer break. So they turn to their local food bank or pantry for assistance.
The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program provide nutritional assistance to millions of low-income children every year. On a typical day, more than 21 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, making it “the nation’s second-largest food and nutrition assistance program behind SNAP.” The School Breakfast Program serves more than 12 million children each day. These programs have been proven to reduce food insecurity, offer a number of health benefits, and improve academic performance.
The Summer Food Service Program was designed to ensure that the assistance low-income children receive at school isn’t interrupted when classes aren’t in session. Only 3.9 million children, 1 in 6, who receive free or reduced-cost meals at school, however, continue to do so during the summer months.
Feeding America’s food banks have programs designed to help close this meal gap, but the majority of food distributed during the summer comes from community food programs. Summer meal sites are sponsored by local organizations and are located typically located at schools, parks, rec centers, houses of worship, etc.
Too many children, however, are unable to access these summer meals sites. Nine million children live in communities that are “ineligible to operate” a site. Another obstacle is transportation to and from the locations. Young children with working parents can’t walk through high-traffic areas or dangerous neighborhoods alone. In rural communities, the distance may simply be too far to travel. The Hunger Free Summer For Kids Act, an amendment to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act with bi-partisan support, would help to remove these barriers by providing children with Electronic Benefit cards and providing off-site consumption options. The bill, however, is part of Child Nutrition Reauthorization, which expired in September of 2015 and remains in limbo.
The infrastructure to help keep kids fed during the summer is there, but the success of these programs depends on us. When they aren’t operating as well as they could be, it places a greater burden on hunger relief organizations that are already stretched to their limits.
What can we do? In the short term, we need to do our part to keep the shelves at our local food banks and pantries stocked. Families who are facing hunger need help right now. Hosting a food drive is always important, but the impact is so much greater during the summer time. Move For Hunger can help you plan and a promote a food drive in your community that will support your neighbors in need.
The long term solution, however, is strengthening our federal nutrition programs. School meals, the Summer Food Service Program, and SNAP safeguard Americans from the dangers of hunger and poverty. We all need to advocate for and support these life-saving programs.
Hunger doesn’t take a vacation and neither can we. Don’t wait, take action today.
Can’t commit to a food drive this summer? A donation of $20 will cover the cost of Move For Hunger’s next food drive.
Find a list of summer meals sites in your area here.
Employees and members of the local community were encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items, such as tuna fish, peanut butter, rice, beans, cereal, pasta, and canned goods, to help support the effort. Anyone who made a donation received a free t-shirt, compliments of Stevens Worldwide. A grand total of 200 pounds of food was collected – enough to provide 160 meals!
Stevens Worldwide Van Lines personally delivered all of the donations to the City Rescue Mission of Saginaw
Nearly 29,000 residents of Saginaw County are food secure, including 1 in 6 children. Thank you to everyone at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines for helping to feed your neighbors in need!
Learn how you can start your own food drive!
In partnership with SAHRA, the Sacramento Business Review surveyed the local HR community to determine trends, and to forecast the future of human capital in Sacramento. Below are the key findings:
❱❱ The current focus for human capital management in the region is on employee development, i.e., training for necessary work skills and development for future changes.
❱❱ Local organizations predict that their most important initiative during the first half of 2017 will be recruiting new talent, although they expect low levels of turnover – an apparent contradiction.
❱❱ More than three-quarters of employees view their pay and benefits positively, consistent with the data in our SBR/SAFE Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Survey.
❱❱ Seventy-five percent of organizations anticipate championing new or significantly revised human capital initiatives for 2017, including employee recognition in non-financial forms.
❱❱ HR departments expect to focus on improving employee engagement and satisfaction.
The United Excellence in Sales award went to Ron Grant, Chipman Relocation & Logistics in Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating from high school, Ron (pictured left) was a marine, completing two 13-month tours. From there, he worked for a number of industries ranging from managing liquor stores to owning a fiberglass repair shop. When he followed his love of outdoors to Alaska, he also found his niche – a sales professional in the moving business. Ron eventually grew weary of the cold Alaska winters and moved back to the lower 48 states. He ventured away from the moving industry to sell chemicals, but he learned one simple fact about sales that has carried him to decades of success, “selling is about relationships, so get to know your customers personally.” The moving and storage business continued to tug at Ron and in 1987 he found a home at Chipman as a national account sales representative. Thirty years later, he is now going to retire as Chipman’s top producing sales person. To stay engaged and involved in the industry, he participates in organizations such as the Worldwide ERC, PRC and PNWRC. He is also a gracious and humble mentor to several Chipman colleagues and finds time to volunteer throughout the Portland community.
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
Rancho Mirage, CA