School cancellations, especially when they stretch into several days in a row, can force families to choose between paying utility or medical bills and having enough food.
That is because in nearly all of the counties that Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina serves, the majority of school aged children income-qualify for free or reduced priced meals at school. And many families have already factored that help into their monthly budgets.
Low income families can be hit hard during the days children are unexpectedly home from school. Not only do food costs increase, so do childcare costs: a parent who can’t miss work might need to hire a neighbor to watch their children and keep them safe. These unexpected expenses can knock an already precarious household budget off balance for weeks. Learn more about how snow days can be hungry days here.
Want to help kids who are facing food insecurity on days like this?
Here are three ways you can help.
1. If your local school has a pantry, Kids Cafe or BackPack program, ask if they need an extra set of hands as they get busy during these winter days. For a full list of Second Harvest’s school-based programs click here.
2. Host a food drive in your neighborhood, school, workplace, or place of worship and collect healthy, easy to prepare food for kids. Get started here.
3. Make a financial gift to Second Harvest Food Bank and help support our Childhood Hunger Programs. Every dollar gifted can be leveraged through our food purchasing and donation program to create seven healthy meals. Donate here.