Over 25K KY children fed in 2015 summer meals programs
BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – Only one in 13 low-income children in Kentucky who needs summer meals is receiving them, according to a national report, Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation, released today by the Food Research & Action Center.
In July 2015, 25,437 low-income children received summer meals in Kentucky, a significant increase of 10 percent from the previous summer.
“It’s very positive news that summer meals have been reaching more children,” said Tamara Sandberg, Kentucky Association of Food Banks. “Kentucky can build on this progress by redoubling outreach efforts throughout this summer to make sure that children – and their parents – are aware of this valuable program. The Summer Nutrition Programs can make a huge difference for the hundreds of thousands of children in our state whose families struggle to afford enough food.”
According to the report, 7.7 low-income children in Kentucky ate summer meals for every 100 who ate school lunch during the regular school year. Kentucky is in the bottom 3 performing states on this measure. Nationally, the ratio was 15.8:100, down from last year’s ratio of 16.2:100. The report also says that if Kentucky had reached 40 children with summer food for every 100 low-income children who get school lunch during the regular school year, Kentucky would have fed an additional 118,000 low-income children every day in July 2015 and brought in $9,313,188 more federal dollars to do so.
“Greater participation in summer food means more low-income children get the fuel they need to thrive over the summer months,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “That reduces hunger, boosts health, reduces obesity, and keeps children primed to learn. Congress can better meet the need through the pending Child Nutrition Reauthorization by making strategic and thoughtful investments in the Summer Nutrition Programs that bolster their capacity to serve even more children.”
Kentucky families can find nearby summer meal sites at KyKidsEat.org, by calling the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479), or by texting FOOD to 877-877.