As summer begins and school lunches end, one in four kids in Vermont are at risk of hunger
With schools letting out and summer break beginning, kids throughout the state are preparing to spend their days playing in the sun, swimming in lakes, and packing as much fun into the long, sunny days as possible. But for 33,900 children in Vermont, summer also brings worry about where their next meal will come from. Nationally, more than 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program during the school year. But when school is out, their families must find a way to stretch their budgets to afford those missing meals.
Hunger deprives kids of more than just food. It limits their ability to reach their full potential. On empty stomachs, kids don’t have the energy to focus, learn and grow. At the Vermont Foodbank, we’re committed to ensuring that kids have access to the food they need year round, because summer should be fun and enriching for everyone.
In fact, we envision everyone in Vermont having enough food to eat every day, being healthy, and taking action to end hunger and poverty. That happens through the Vermont Foodbank’s gleaning program where volunteers are busy in the farm fields harvesting fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste, and instead ensuring they make it onto the plates of Vermonters who could not otherwise afford them. Additionally the Vermont Foodbank’s VeggieVanGo program distributes fresh produce to families with children at many local schools and hospitals during the summer months and throughout the year.
This work would not be possible without your generous support. So we are thrille