More than 30 million children in low-income households rely on the free or reduced-price school meals program for their nutritional needs, but when the school year ends their lives can be thrown into disarray. The current system for providing summer meals only serves about one fifteenth as many kids as rely on school-funded food during the academic year.
Caretakers must find a way to provide three times as many meals. “It’s hard enough during the school year, and in the summertime I really have to be extra careful,” said Jean C. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. “I usually do, in the summertime, go without eating. My kids, no matter what, they eat.”
“They’ll ask me, ‘mommy why aren’t you eating?’ and I’ll say, ‘oh I’ll eat after you guys eat,’” she said, a member of Witnesses to Hunger. Ten-year-old Jeredan, Jean’s oldest, started to pick up on what was happening last summer. “He would get so upset and say, ‘Well if you’re not eating, I’m not gonna eat because that’s not fair if you don’t eat.’ He gets really worried when that happens.” Read More . . .