The summer months can be a scary time for food insecure children and families in the Tri-Cities region.
Free and reduced lunches at area schools give kids the opportunity to eat at school, but during the summer, families who are already under financial strain face a new burden.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is working to connect those families to resources closest to them to make sure no child goes hungry in the summer.
The “Summer Food Service Program” works closely with the community to make sure kids know where they can receive free food and snacks throughout the day while they are out of school.
The easiest way to take advantage of the program is to text the word “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877. This will send you a list of resources that are available for those who are in need of food assistance.
“So many families rely on the free breakfast and free lunch that kids are getting at school, so when they don’t have access to that it creates an additional burden. During the school year we send home backpacks to help relieve that burden and in the summer we offer these summer food service sites so that kids can have access to the food,” says Josie Russell, community relations manager for Second Harvest.
Second Harvest says through programs like this they are able to help around 2,500 kids consistently throughout the summer months stay full.
They say around 20,000 kids qualify as food insecure in our region.
You can help Second Harvest fund programs like this by making a monetary donation on their website.