Summer break is finally here, but unfortunately it’s not a carefree time for thousands of children in Durham. For the nearly 60% of children receiving free or reduced lunch in Durham Public Schools, summer break means the loss of access to meals at school.
There are many great organizations working to combat this problem. The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has a Kids Summer Meals Program to help families who are seeking alternatives to meals typically provided at school. The Kids Summer Meals sites provide a location for children to receive free breakfast and lunch in addition to various enrichment activities for children such as exercise and summer reading programs. This summer, the program will provide at least 200,000 meals to 6,000 children in the 34 counties which it serves, including Durham.
In addition to the Kids Summer Meals Program, the Food Bank holds an annual campaign to “Stop Summer Hunger” to collect food and funds during June and July with a goal of providing 3.2 million meals to children and families. For additional information or to donate, go to www.stopsummerhunger.org.
Another local organization working to fight childhood hunger is East Durham Children’s Initiative. This past Monday marked the first day of Summer Lunch in the EDCI zone, and 99 meals were served to children and families! Visit www.edci.org to learn more.
At a national level, Feeding America and ConAgra Foods have teamed up with YouTube star Kid President to raise awareness about childhood hunger and the critical need for summertime meals. The ConAgra Foods Foundation is donating the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America for every view, like, or share of this great video, so check it out and learn more about how you can help!