Summer Meals for Hungry Children by Grace Pires

With summer just around the corner, many children happily anticipate the end of the school year. However, the end of the school year can cause serious problems for lower income children. Schools often provide free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch to children in need. Without schools providing essential meals, children are at risk of going hungry.

Despite the three-month break from school, children can still receive meals through programs hosted by organizations and local outreach programs. The YMCA has over 1,000 locations across the United States that offer healthy snacks and meals that are completely free of charge for children who receive free or reduced cost lunch. Additionally, organizations like No Kid Hungry provide summer meals in easy-to-access locations like parks, and they have the support of many corporations like Farmland, Nestle and more.

The efforts among charities and nonprofits are helpful, but many children and their families face great challenges when searching for their next meal. Congress is debating over a new federal bill that would threaten important food programs like food stamps and food for low-income mothers with infants and children. Some members of our governmental believe that cutting food stamps will promote self-sufficiency, but ultimately these cuts will only hurt people, not help. The bottom line: cuts to food programs will leave many children hungry.

Voice your opinion and help keep children fed during summer and winter months. Everyone deserves the right to food, and no child deserves to go hungry because of government greed. To reach your federal legislators, you may text (520) 200-8660 with your zip code as the message. You may also find legislator’s phone number and email addresses here.

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