For my family and I, summer is about relaxing and taking a break from our normal routines. You will oftentimes find us at the ice cream parlor or escaping the heat with a movie and popcorn. But, recently I was reminded that not every kid has such an enjoyable summer.
Unfortunately, hunger is more prevalent in the summer when children are not receiving meals at school. In fact, in Oklahoma the school lunch program that lower-income families depend on shuts down for the summer break, which means roughly 300,000 children may be left without a stable source of nutrition. But, Feed the Children‘s pilot program called The Oklahoma Summer Food and Education Program is trying to change that by testing this new initiative this summer.
While the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps fill that gap over the summer, in Oklahoma – Feed the Children’s home state –very few agencies are involved with the summer meals program making another effort necessary to end child hunger. The Oklahoma Summer Food and Education Program will:
- Provide Better Access to More Meals — Feed the Children will provide 115,000 meals, many of which will be purchased with private funds, that can be brought home.
- Nourish Bodies and Minds — At 11 USDA FNS-approved feeding sites, Feed the Children will provide books and educational resources for children, as well as backpacks and supplies for the school year.
- Provide Results— Results from the pilot will be offered as evidence-based research to Feed the Children partners to identify ways to better solve summer food insecurity that have impact, are far-reaching and cost-effective.
Learn More about Feed the Children’s new vision at the upcoming Tweet-Up to be held Wednesday, July 9th at 1pm EST. Hunger hurts 1 out of every 7 children, and is deeply rooted in larger, uncovered issues. But you can learn how Feed the Children plans to lead the charge to end child hunger by simply RSVPing and participating in the #HelpKidsBeKids Twitter Party.
Need more incentive? The Motherhood, your host, will be giving away five $25 VISA gift cards throughout the Tweet-up, based on correct responses to trivia questions. No purchase necessary; winners must be residents of the United States and 18 years of age or older.
Hope to see you there!