While many families fill their summers with camp, vacation or other fun activities, a lot of families in Coastal Virginia are trying to fill a void of hunger. “It can be too easy to forget that there are hungry kids right here in our backyard,” says Ruth Jones, CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. The sad truth is that nearly 43,000 kids in Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore don’t know where or how they will get their next meal.
“During the schoolyear, programs like school breakfast and school lunch help provide these necessary meals,” Jones explains. “But when school’s out—so are those meals.”
Most of us are familiar with the BackPack Program initiated by the Foodbank, where the Foodbank distributes nutritious food to children in need at the end of the school day, before weekends and/or school breaks. But what happens during summer break?
Last year the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore announced new initiatives aimed at fighting summer hunger for children facing food insecurity. Through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program, the Foodbank will provide meals—at no cost—to more than 900 children participating in summer programs and camps across Coastal Virginia and the Eastern Shore, furthering the Foodbank’s mission of eliminating hunger in our community all year round.
Learn how you can help and get involved in the Foodbank’s BackPack Program or Summer Feeding Initiative at FoodbankOnline.org.