Working to Eliminate Summer Hunger
July 8, 2019
Every kid deserves the freedom of just being a kid—especially over summer vacation! But when a child is hungry, they face grown-up worries that robs them of that chance.
During the school year, over 88,000 children throughout Southern Colorado receive free or reduced-priced breakfast and lunch at school. When school ends for the summer, so do these meals. For families who rely on school meals five days a week, summer means they need to find a way to provide an additional 120 meals for each child.
Summer should be a time when children enjoy time to play and grow during a break from the routine of school. Eliminating summer hunger is no small challenge, but Care and Share is working to ensure every child and family enjoys a well-fed summer. This summer, Care and Share is keeping food within reach for families in several ways:
Summer Food Service Program
To help fill the gap in meal services over the summer months, we offer the USDA funded Summer Food Service Program. Care and Share partners with community centers, school districts offering summer school, and other organizations with summer programming to serve free breakfasts, lunches, and/or snacks to children under 18 years old throughout the summer.
Summer Mobile Food Pantries
Our Summer Mobile Food Pantries help us distribute thousands of pounds of fresh produce and pantry staple items, like protein and grains, in areas with little access to fresh, affordable foods. We partner with sites that are already serving meals and snacks through the Summer Food Service Program to host bimonthly Summer Mobile Food Pantries. Our trucks deliver food directly to these sites, displaying it in a farmer’s market-style layout, and typically serve at least 100 families at each distribution. While children eat summer meals, their families can receive food for the entire family to help supplement their meals for the coming week.
Neighborhood Food Pantries
In addition to special summer programming, families can visit their community’s local food pantry for access to nutritious food, free of cost. All year-round, Care and Share sources food directly to more than 160 food pantry partner sites across Southern Colorado, so every community has affordable access to nutritious food. Many of these food pantries also offer other services— such as job training, housing assistance, medical care, and other critical services— to create a safety net of support for families in times of need.
To partner with us in tackling summer hunger, please consider making a donation to Care and Share today. With your support, we can ensure that every child enjoys a well-fed summer, and return to the school year ready to keep up with their peers!