Preparing to Close the Summer Meal Gap

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The Second Harvest warehouse is always a busy place.


Frequently, donations are coming in one bay, while representatives from partner agencies are heaving heavy carts of food to their vehicles out another bay. As the weather warms, and the end of school approaches, those carts are even heavier

That’s because our partners throughout our 18 county service area know that the need for healthy food increases when school lets out and students lose access to the free and reduced price meals that their schools serve. More than half of the children attending public schools in our region income-qualify for these vital, nutritious meals during the school year, but there are few options for them when school lets out.

That’s where Second Harvest Food Bank and our partners come in. Our partner pantries and soup kitchens are stocking up now to address this summer time meal gap, and Second Harvest is getting ready to support 27 summer meal sites in seven counties (Alamance, Alexander, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Stokes, and Surry).


“Each location we work with to provide summer meals is different because they are addressing the very specific needs of children in their community,” says Daisy Rodriguez, Director of Childhood Hunger Programs for the food bank. “For example, we are working with ten Parks and Recreation sites in Greensboro, supplying them with cafeteria-type hot meals every weekday because they are such large feeding sites. Meanwhile, in Stokes County we are working with the YMCA to reach children, and in Surry County we are working with SEAMS and Whitaker’s Chapel UMC in Pilot Mountain who will be feeding children at the church with ready-to-heat meals made by Triad Community Kitchen. There are as many different ways to do this work as there are places that need it.”

The need is huge, the logistics are complex, and what is at stake is vital. Parents and teachers know that a kid’s development cannot be put on hold during the summer months. People who work in schools see the ramifications of food insecurity every day. “Children cannot learn when they are hungry, and stress of any kind — including food insecurity– can hinder cognitive development,” says Tal Fish, a school counselor with the Guilford County Schools. “We need to work with families to meet tangible needs throughout the year, including the summer months, to foster important connections between school and home, and to help students be successful.”

Learn more about what Second Harvest is doing to address the summer meal gap, and the programs we support here. 

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$1 provides 7 meals.

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#children #feedingchildren #summermeals #DaisyRodriguez #TriadCommunityKitchen

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