With summer heating up, millions of children are struggling to find the fun in the season of sun. Their families are stretching their budgets to the breaking point. Before the school year ended, families were already finding it hard to afford enough food for their kids – especially because of the rising prices at the grocery store and the recent reduction in federal emergency assistance.
Now that kids are home, almost 30 million students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals at school won’t get them and this summer could be catastrophic for their families.
“There're a lot of kids that eat when school’s in session, but when school's out they don't get anything to eat,” said Brent Justus, founder of Life’s Hope, a Feed the Children community partner.
That’s where Feed the Children community partners step in. Life’s Hope, our community partner for almost 15 years, is one organization that has dedicated themselves to helping families fill this gap so fewer kids risk going to bed hungry.
Serving a rural area about 80 miles south of our headquarters in Oklahoma City, Life’s Hope coordinates with local schools during the summer to provide meals for 400-500 kids each weekday while sending families home with extra food for the weekend. For those who need a little assistance, this help goes a long way.
“The people that come through to get food for their children, they’re hard-working people,” said Brent. “They just don’t have enough money to make ends meet. The extra food they get helps them put money towards resources to help their family in other ways.”
Feed the Children provides Life’s Hope with specialized meal kits that kids can eat on-site as well as extra food and household essentials, so families have what they need to maintain stable households.
A member of our network of more than 700 community partners across the country, the people at Life’s Hope connect us with the families and communities who need help directly. But without generous people like you, none of our work together would be possible.
“I wish that all of the donors could just come out one day and hand out food,” said Cindy, who manages the cafeteria for these summer feedings. “That way, you could see how people react when you give them these things. They are so grateful.”