If you or someone you know needs help with summer meals, you can find the summer meals closest to you HERE. You can also text FOOD to 877-877.
School’s out, and before children are rejoicing in the carefree days of summer. But for 1 in 3 children here in South Georgia, summer is far from a carefree time. Instead of enjoying fun childhood activities like pool parties, summer camps, and family trips, nearly 51,000 kids in our community will go hungry. For these children, no school means no lunch.
South Georgia has some of the highest rates of poverty and food insecurity in the nation, which means that many children live in homes that don’t regularly have enough to eat. Because of this crisis, every school district in our area offers student school meals at completely no cost. Most students end up relying on these essential breakfast and lunchtime meals to provide them with the vital nutrition they need to learn and grow.
Now that the school year is coming to a close, these children will lose access to their most reliable source of food, facing higher risks of fatigue, detachment, and health problems. Kids can also fall behind in mental development when they don’t eat enough nutritious meals, and once the new school year begins, many will have forgotten much of what they already learned.
But that’s not all. For parents and caregivers who are struggling to make ends meet, the summer months can become an unbearable burden. Not only do these families have to secure and pay for childcare, they also have to find a way to replace the school meals their children receive during the rest of the year. In the summer, these kids and their families are at risk of going to bed every night with an empty stomach.
With schools closed, where can families turn for the help they need? Thankfully, Second Harvest of South Georgia has an answer. Through our Kids Café program, we work with community partners to provide children with nutritious food year-round, but especially during the summer months. We were able to serve over 700,000 meals and snacks to kids last year, and now we are growing our program by establishing ‘KC on the Go’, mobile feeding sites through our Kids Café program. Soon, we’ll have the ability to bring nutritious food directly to the children who need it most. But in order to grow Kids Café and feed more children this summer, we need your support.
You can help us end summer hunger before it begins. Please consider making a gift to Second Harvest of South Georgia today. Your generosity will have a lasting impact on children and families throughout our 30-county service area. No child should spend the summer without enough to eat. Together, we can ensure that kids can enjoy the next few months like they should—playing outdoors, spending time with friends, and growing strong—instead of going hungry.