No Pennsylvania child should go hungry in the summer

When school is out for the summer, children who receive meals at school or in after-school programs lose a reliable source of nutrition, and many family budgets are stretched even tighter. According to research from Feeding America, more than 20 percent of children in Pennsylvania are food insecure.

Thankfully, there are opportunities to keep kids hunger-free in the summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program teams up with local organizations like schools, churches, community centers, and camps to offer up to two healthy meals per day to eligible kids. In neighborhoods where more than half of children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, summer meals are available to any child under 18.

There are more than 1,800 sites across Pennsylvania serving summer meals. You can find a meal site near you by:

Some local volunteers, community groups, and food banks also pitch in to feed kids over the summer.

Cafeteria workers in the North Star School District did just that last summer in partnership with Helping Hands Food Pantry in Somerset County. Every Thursday throughout the summer, the food pantry offers free lunches for children.

"We live in this community, and we know these kids," North Star Education Support Professionals president Denise Gavel said. "We know sometimes the only good meal they get is when they're at school. So, during the summer, it just made sense for us as cafeteria workers to partner with our local food bank and continue caring for our kids even when school is out."



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