Hunger doesn’t take summers off
“I’m hungry!” is the worst phrase a parent can hear, particularly when they can’t afford enough groceries to last them through the month. Yet, it happens all too often. With school aged children home for summer, and have little to no access to the free school meals, demand and need for our Hunger Prevention Services have increased. Our walk-in Food Pantry and twice-a-month Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry visits continue to see high, and often record numbers of local people accessing them to keep themselves and their families fed.
“We are experiencing an 180% increase in pantry usage from 2020” said Mike Voyt, our Hunger Prevention Director. “This, coupled with an increase in grocery cost of almost 6%, on top of an 11% increase from the previous year, is proving to be too difficult for many local families to overcome.”
One new service we’ve added is free summer meals for kids under 18. Every Thursday, to-go meal kits will be made available to parents with children at home. Kids will receive a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches, and a gallon of milk. This service will be offered through mid-August, and is already going a long way in relieving that particular need in the homes of families we serve.