Summer feeding program for kids


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — A federal program to help no kid go hungry in the summer kicked off in Kentucky Monday.

While most kids are excited when summer break comes around, some are worried where there next meal will come from.

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“There’s no reason at all for any kid to be hungry or to need a meal,” says Amy Hockensmith with Franklin County Public Schools.

Kentucky is one of the worst states for food insecurity in kids.

“That food insecurity could impact their ability to learn and grow and be healthy and have their best possible chance at life,” says Summer Feeding Service Program manager, Cathy Gallagher.

The Kentucky Department of Education is trying to help with this, by supplying kids with free meals during the summer at more than 2.600 sites.

“Last year we served just shy of 3 million meals during the summer months across the state so a lot of meals a lot of need,” says Gallagher.

And it’s easy to learn where the nearest summer meals site is. Just text FOOD to 877-877. It will ask for your location where you will put your address or zip code, and then it’ll text you back your closest meal, the hours they’re available, and what days which are usually Monday through Friday.

Most sponsors in the program have mobile sites set up at several locations.

“There’s so many kids that don’t get to eat and I know at least Monday through Friday they get one meal,” says Hockensmith.

“A lot of our sponsors have taken meals on the road where they may go out on a mobile route where they stop at different locations for a set period of times usually 20-30 minutes,” says Gallagher.

Some sponsors might even deliver to you if you don’t have a ride.

“They purchase the food according to a meal pattern,” says Gallagher. “We do have a required meal pattern that ensures the kids get a very balanced meal including fresh fruit and vegetables.”

Each sponsor preps its own meals fresh each day and though breakfast and lunch are the most popular, some sponsors will even serve dinner.

Gallagher says there’s enough food in our agricultural state so we just have to rethink what we have available and make sure these kids get what they need.

For more information on the summer feeding program click here.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at