Vacation sojourns, swim parties and baseball games are predictably on the minds of families when school is out for the summer. But, conversely and sadly, the dog days of summer account for the hardest time of the entire year for many families.
Nearly 21.5 million kids in the U.S. are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals, yet according to the Food Research Action Center, only 1 in 6 of them receives that benefit over summer break. In the Mid-South, one in every five children – that’s over 110,000 – face hunger, and minus reliably lunches at school, the hunger’s severity parallels to the South’s summer humidity.
The Mid-South Food Bank’s child hunger programs aim at making it easier for struggling families by providing hot meals in the afternoons at Kids Cafes - located inside Boys and Girls Clubs. At other locations in the region, there are summer food boxes - containers filled with nutritious food for kids and families.
And at the nearly 300 Partner Agencies across the 31 counties that Mid-South Food Bank distributes food to every month, extra food is funneled to help offset the spike in hunger. Despite these efforts Mid-South Food Bank needs assistance from the public.
You can help: A financial donation of $5 will provide 15 meals for children and their family. Or, consider organizing a food donation drive either with your family, your civic club, church or business (see Operation Feed). Preferred items include jars of peanut butter, cans of vegetables, fruits (in their own juices) and canned meats like chicken and tuna.