Every year, we come together to #StopSummerHunger. This is not a normal year. Because of COVID-19, summer hunger started early.
When school is out we know that families struggle to keep food on the table. Children and teens who are part of free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch programs often no longer receive those meals. There are increased expenses for childcare when school is out, and the cost of utilities rise along with temperatures. Budgets for so many families are already stretched thin, and the stress of covering these additional costs is very real.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis means more people than ever are facing hunger each day. Parents and caregivers have lost their jobs and healthcare. Schools have been closed, and in many cases unable to continue providing meals to children, since mid-March. Summer hunger started early this year.
Together we can help ease the burden on families and ensure growing children get the nourishment they need to grow, play, and learn. Our #StopSummerHunger goal this year is to raise 4.4 million meals.
What the Food Bank is doing:
In the Food Bank’s 34-county service area, just over 300,000 (1 in 5) children are eligible for free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch- and in some cases, those meals haven’t been available since mid-March. With our many partners, the Food Bank is working provide as many of those meals as possible to children and teens for as long as needed, and have opened more than 30 free meal sites since April.
In addition, we are distributing thousands of family-sized boxes, each containing 20 meals, to our partners operating pantries and soup kitchens, to school districts for children and families, and to seniors.
How you can help the Food Bank meet the increased need:
- Donate funds – Because of the strength of community relationships, the Food Bank can stretch the gift of a single dollar to provide 5 meals worth of food for a neighbor. And during the months of June and July, your donation is DOUBLED – meaning every dollar can provide 10 meals for the community.
- Involve your friends – Want to mobilize your neighborhood, church group, or family? Holding a Virtual Food Drive is a great way to help – while practicing social distancing. Visit foodbankcenc.org/vfd to get started!
- Donate time – If you are a healthy adult and want to volunteer, you can self-schedule a shift at foodbankcenc.org/volunteer. Current volunteer sessions are being kept much smaller than traditional volunteer groups to best accommodate social distancing. We are also limiting volunteering to ages 18-60 at this time, to best protect vulnerable populations.
- Donate food – We’re always in need of the types of shelf-stable items that you pick up for your own family: things like peanut butter, canned tuna fish and chicken, soup, pasta, and canned fruits and veggies.
Thank you to our #StopSummerHunger Sponsors!