This post is brought to you by ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood, and I’ve been compensated for my time. However, all opinions are my own.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth! I have my whole family from Boston visiting, so there’s been lots of cousin snuggling and playing with Yiayia and even some Thomas the Train sharing. 😉 Being around family and surrounded by an abundance of food has reminded me not everyone has food on their table this summer. Did you know 1 out of 5 kids in the US may be suffering from childhood hunger? In fact, 21.5 million kids participate in free and reduced meals programs during the school year– but once summer hits, only 2.3 participate in the Summer Food Service Program.
That’s almost 20 million less children receiving regular meals during the summer. Here, in America. That’s a real problem.
I’ve had the privilege to teach in several schools in my career, and two of them had a population with 90% (or higher) receiving free or reduced meals. Our kids relied on this program for nutritious meals, sometimes for both breakfast and lunch. Skipping meals is no small thing– over time, it can lead to lost focus in school, increased illness, disruptive behavior, and lower scores on achievement tests. Once school is out, barriers such as geographic barriers and low awareness of summer programs mean few kids participate in summer feeding programs.