Have you ever wondered where the children who receive free breakfasts and lunches get their meals when school is out?
My daughter took a gap year between getting her degree and going to grad school to volunteer and work in our school district as a substitute teacher. She came home from one school and told me how much she loved working there. She enjoyed the kids, the community, and the other teachers. However, she was dismayed to discover that every child in her classroom qualified for a free breakfast and free lunch. Which made us both ask, “Where do those kids get their meals when they are not at school?”
I was already in the process of finding the answer to that question for my community when I learned about the Simple Service Project from Odwalla and Champion for Kids: Hunger in the Summer.
When school lets out for the summer, millions of children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and after-school snacks they receive during the regular school year. Only 1 out of 6 children who receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year continue to receive meals during the summer months. Low-income families with children face even more challenges during the summer when they stretch their food budget to provide additional meals for their children. But you can help by doing an Odwalla Hunger in the Summer Project in your community!
How to Help in the Fight Against Summer Hunger
Learn about the needs of the children in your community.
Find out which organizations are helping children in your community and ask them what they need.
Ask your friends, family, and co-workers to help you fight hunger in the summer by hosting a food drive in your community.
Collect nutritious snacks like Odwalla Kids Bars and Juice Boxes.
Give the food items that you collect to a food bank in your community so that children and families will have enough to eat this summer.
Share the story of your Hunger in the Summer Simple Service Project to help inspire others!
How my family helped in the fight against Hunger in the Summer:
I spoke with several organizations in our area that help provide food for children in need. After speaking with someone from the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, we determined that the best match for our donation was probably St. Vincent’s Food Pantry. They have several different programs including one geared towards children in need and one for families with children.
In addition to the donation that Odwalla provided for us, we created a budget for donating to St. Vincent’s programs.
We reviewed St. Vincent’s programs to make sure we were donating appropriate items to their programs.
We made a shopping list. Our list included child-friendly foods and snacks, like Odwalla bars and fruit cups. We also created a list of food staples to donate to the program for families with children.
We went shopping at Walmart for the items we needed, so could stretch our donation budget further.
We reviewed the days and hours that they were open so we could go as a family to drop off the food. My six-year-old was quite upset to find the actual food pantry was closed, but the donation dock was open. Perhaps the next time we visit we will be able to take him into the food pantry.
You can learn more about Champion for Kids and Odwalla’s efforts to fight Hunger in the Summer here.
Are you participating in a service project this summer?