While 21.5 million kids rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year, when school is out, only 2.3 million children nationally participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), according to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. For the millions of kids who fall within that gap, summer does not mean a few months of fun and relaxation. It means they may be at risk of hunger.
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank, a member of the Feeding America network, is expanding its summer feeding program through a $20,000 grant awarded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation – to address the summer-specific needs of children in Meigs and Marion Counties.
“Even if hunger is temporary, its impact can last a lifetime,” said Maeghan Jones, President, Chattanooga Area Food Bank. “Children who miss breakfast and lunch are more susceptible to health and wellness issues. With this funding, we’re now able to provide summer feeding opportunities to more children and more food, giving these kids the nourishment that they need to thrive.”
“Through the summer feeding program, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank is overcoming barriers that prevent kids from getting the nutrition they need in the summertime,” said Kori Reed, vice president of Foundation and Cause at ConAgra Foods. “In addition to building upon the important work they’ve done in Meigs and Marion Counties for years, together, we’re learning what works and how we can make continual improvements to feed more children during the crucial summer months.”