The Kids Summer Meals (KSM) Program is off and running with one of the busiest summers yet. KSM continues to work to alleviate childhood hunger in the most vulnerable months for low-income families. In June alone we provided 47,447 meals to 4,500 kids who normally rely on free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch throughout the school year. When the summer is said and done, we are poised to serve over 200,000 meals to more than 6,000 children at 165 partner meal sites across central and eastern North Carolina.
Nourishing kids, building nutrition
The Food Bank is in our ninth year of administering the USDA Summer Food Service Program. This summer, we are expanding the hot lunch program to serve 50% of our sites. The increase in hot food means more nutritious and better quality food for the children, while directly putting USDA funds back into the local economies. Contracts totaling $540,000 have been signed with local restaurants and catering companies to provide hot, fresh meals to North Carolina’s youth.
And we’ve made a bit of Kids Summer Meals history this year, thanks to our new Raleigh facility. For the first time ever, a Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina branch served as a KSM site! The new community rooms our Raleigh facility hosted dozens of children over several weeks of camps, through partnerships with the Raleigh Police Department and the Little Giants Camp. But we didn’t just serve food… our staff nutritionist, Sara, also provided hands-on cooking demos and nutrition education to campers.
You can make a difference this summer
Summer can be a fun time, but also a hard time for so many children and families. Over half of all the children in our 34-county service area depend on school meals as their primary source of food. That’s nearly 300,000 kids. That’s far more than we can reach through Kids Summer Meals…which is why our Stop Summer Hunger initiative is so important.
Stop Summer Hunger is our annual initiative to nourish children, families, and individuals during this season of increased need. In addition to Kids Summer Meals, we work extra hard to keep shelves stocked for our network of Partner Agency food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters who experience an uptick during the summer.
You can help us reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that all our neighbors in need receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to be healthy and strong. Contribute today to our Stop Summer Hunger food and funds drive.