The Dark Side of Summer: Children & Summer Hunger

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This week at The Kitchn we’re talking about why we love summer — lazy cooking! eating outdoors! tomatoes! — but all this talk has reminded me of a sobering fact: for children who depend on free school breakfasts and lunches, summer eating is not about bountiful produce and cook-outs. It is about not knowing when they will see the next real meal. The Washington Post recently featured a must-read article about this dark side of summer.

With more than one in four children depending on government food assistance, schools and food banks are getting creative in how they get nutritious meals to poor children who may not have transportation to a central location during the summer. In rural Tennessee, one food bank has turned old school buses into traveling cafes that deliver free lunches to children in the hills of Appalachia. It isn’t perfect, but as this heartbreaking article in Washington Post makes clear, it is much better than the alternative: nothing.

Want to help? Share Our Strength, a national organization working to end childhood hunger, has a section of its website devoted to summer-specific resources, from promoting summer meal sites and buses to hosting your own fundraising cookout. Or you can try contacting a local food bank about donating your time or resources to help with summer hunger initiatives.

Learn More & Act Now

Summer Meals at No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength
Food Bank Locator at Feeding America

(Image: Refat/Shutterstock)