Programs Keeping Bellies Full During Summer Break
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Now that school is out for summer, children across southeast Indiana don’t have to worry about homework, extracurriculars, or studying for tests.
Some, however, will find themselves wondering where their next meal will come from. They might have been getting their breakfast and lunch at school.
“When the school year ends, millions of low-income children lose access to school meals, including about 348,000 Hoosier students. It is in our best interest to ensure that such children have adequate nutrition during the summer so they stay healthy, active and return to school in the fall ready to learn,” said Emily Weikert Bryant of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, an Indianapolis-based non-profit, saw participation in its Summer Nutrition Programs increase to 76,000 children with low-income families on an average day in July of last year. The figure was an increase of 23 percent from the previous year.
St. John Lutheran School, 222 Mechanic Street, in Aurora is the lone summer meal site in southeast Indiana operating June 4 through August 1 this summer. There, meals are served Monday through Friday with a morning snack at 9:15 a.m. and lunches at 11:30 a.m.
Other Indiana meal sites can be found at http://scnweb.doe.state.in.us/external_forms/2014_SFSP_Feeding_Sites_All_Indiana.pdf, http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks, or by calling 211.
FIH has eleven member food banks serving more than 1,700 food pantries, churches, and other agencies. Among those serving children in southeast Indiana is the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati.