What happens during the summer to children who rely on school meals?

Two girls eating fruit

For many kids, summertime means two things: fun and friends. But when school’s out, that also means that families can’t count on their kids eating meals at school, and already tight family food budgets have to be stretched even further. Parents also know that growing kids have big appetites.

An astounding 85 percent of the almost 900,000 NC children from economically-challenged families are not accessing the federally-funded summer nutrition programs designed to fill the need when school is out.

Meals were available at close to 3,000 meal sites in North Carolina in the summer of 2016. But only a small percentage of schools serve as summer meal sites for children in their community, or are willing and/or able to arrange transportation for these federally-reimbursed meals to be delivered to the kids.

Many organizations where kids gather in the summer still are not aware of the opportunity to serve as a free meals site.