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Making a Difference – Free Summer Meals with No Kid Hungry

This is a difficult time for my family. I have a lot more to say about my mom’s death and funeral, but I scheduled this sponsored post a month ago. Some other time, I’ll write about the difficulties created by turning a personal blog into a business, but this is a business obligation all the same. The message of the post is important despite its inconvenient timing.

When I was student teaching at the Milton Hershey School, I worried about my kids over every school holiday.

Many of them stuffed their pockets and backpacks with food from their last lunch and dinner at school, preparing for their days back at home. (The cafeteria was free as all students’ needs are provided for at the school.)

It always made me wonder whether the problem was money and food or simple neglect or something else of which I couldn’t even conceive. The result was the same, and that is kids stockpiling food on their way to their familial homes.

I didn’t see this kind of behavior overtly when I taught in a public school; kids had to purchase their food with money (or a free lunch ticket). There was no way to get extra without cash.

For all these kids, the summer presents a huge problem. During the school year, kids from low-income families get one (maybe two) free meals at school. During the summer, these same kids have fewer options.

Kids in every school, every town, and nearly every neighborhood are going hungry this summer.

4 Facts About Childhood Hunger

  1. Summer is hard on family finances. This is probably true for every family, but especially for low-income families. A recent national survey found that 43% of low-income families have a harder time making ends meet in the summertime, requiring an extra $300 spent every month on groceries.
  2. Free summer meals get healthy food to kids even when school is out. Thousands of USDA sites across the country offer these meals, including schools, churches, and community centers.
  3. Many kids are missing out on summer meals. More than 21 million American kids rely on free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, but just over 3 million kids get free summer meals. Some kids aren’t close enough to a site, can’t get to a site because of transportation issues, and as many as 60% of eligible parents simply aren’t aware of the program.
  4. No Kid Hungry gets kids healthy food. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program is focused on making sure kids have access to these free summer meals.

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Join me on August 8 for a Twitter chat!

I’ll be Tweeting with a bunch of other awesome bloggers and @TyPennington this Thursday at 1pm eastern. We’ll be talking about Kmart’s mission to help end child hunger this summer by matching donations to purchase 1 million meals for kids in need.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kmart. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kmart.  The opinions and text are all mine.

© 2013 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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