For kids in America, summer should mean fun. For the 21.6 million who rely on school for regular meals, it can mean hunger instead. Since 2011, C&S has made in-kind donations for summer meals programs in our communities. In 2017, we helped support summer meals programs in 10 states.
This article, from one of our nonprofit partners in New Orleans, explains the importance of the summer meals programs.
Helping Hungry Children Through the Long Summer to Come
Thousands of local students rely on the breakfast and lunch they get at school to get through the day. For many of these children their school meals may be the only nutritious meal of the day. But during the summer, many of those same children face weeks of malnourishment.
Our Summer Feeding program provides breakfast, lunch and snacks to dozens of local churches, libraries, recreational camps and other community centers where children gather.
“We provide meals to thousands of children a day at the peak of our summer program,” according to Second Harvest Community Kitchen Director Gina Melita. “Every meal we prepare meets USDA requirements for healthy standards, and includes items such as whole grain and whole wheat biscuits or rolls, protein, fat-free milk and vegetables.”
And providing these meals across our service area is no small task. Volunteers and staff members arrive before 5:00 a.m. throughout the summer to prepare, pack and deliver the meals. By summer’s end, we cook and deliver over 100,000 meals to more than 3,500 children.
“Many, many of the summer sites we support tell us there’s just no way they could afford to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks to all their kids all summer long. It’s an incredibly important program that we’re always looking to expand.”
Our Child Summer Feeding program is made possible by C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Share Our Strength and the Edward Wisner Donation.
Reprinted with permission by Second Harvest Food Bank Feeding South Lousiana - May 2016 Newsletter