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.
According to the USPS; 55,000 change of address forms are processed every day in the United States. Every summer tens of thousands of families physically move their residence.
Take some time before you hire a professional mover. Find a moving partner that will LISTEN and BUILD a successful moving plan that fits the budget and the schedule.
MOVING TIP OF THE MONTH:
If you’re moving locally, under 25 miles use the following as a guideline. 79% of all claims are caused by RUSHED MOVERS. Hire fewer movers for longer periods of time. You won’t regret it!
Chipman Relocations and Logistics is the largest family owned mover on the west coast.
Chipman Relocations of Sacramento is proud to partner with Dignity Health to provide VIP moving services to relocating physician families. Better yet, we’ve developed a special program that makes it EASY to pay your moving bill!! Fill out the form below to learn more. Book your move early to secure the best dates.
MoveRescue® is the first industry-endorsed consumer assistance service aimed at stopping disreputable and unscrupulous interstate movers.
Approximately 1.6 million Americans hire interstate household goods movers each year. Unfortunately, a reported 3,000 cases of possible mover fraud occur annually. Many of these cases involve criminals who offer low estimates and then hold customers’ possessions hostage in undisclosed warehouses, demand thousands of dollars in additional payments and threaten auction. MoveRescue is devoted to ending this problem by seeing that moving companies abide by the federal consumer protection regulations.
Please call 800-832-1773 if you would like to speak with a MoveRescue representative. You will be asked to provide information about your move and to forward your shipping documents for review. A knowledgeable representative will answer your questions about the moving process and advise you of the appropriate next steps to take.
Thank you for all the donations and for giving us your time last Monday.
It was a day we will never forget. We wish each and every one of you could have been there to experience the joy on the faces of the women and children who ALL MOVED IN THAT VERY DAY!
We asked for furniture and household items for FOUR mothers and children transitioning out of homelessness and you did not hesitate. Not only were we able to give St. Raymond’s House everything they needed for a fresh start but you showed them there is a greater community that cares.
A special thank you to Chipman Relocation and Logistics for providing over 50 employees for the day and for believing in our mission. We couldn’t have dreamed for a better partner.
AND thank you to LOPC in Lafayette for spreading the word and giving us the space to Gather!
PLUS, WE HAVE A WINNER for the Warriors Raffle! Thanks to everyone who participated! Please see winner below!
This is an amazing transformation, you won’t want to miss! Thank you for making this dream come true for FOUR families last week!
Donna and Chris, Grateful Gatherings Founders