The organization kicked off its No Hunger Summer feeding program on Monday and this year volunteers expect to serve more kids than ever.
"The need is there and people are excited. They know it's a good thing to help the people in their communities," said Second Harvest Director of Programs Christine Feuerbacher.
When the program started three years ago, more than 2,000 meals were handed out.
The program fed more than 26,000 kids last year and this year volunteers anticipate feeding nearly twice that amount.
"The summertime is hard on every family because it's an added expense. The kids are active, they're busy and they get hungry. And so, we're here to help them," said Feuerbacher.
More than 17,000 kids suffer from hunger and food insecurity in Second Harvest's food service area.
Second Harvest serves 19 counties across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
They expanded the program to cater to more children in those areas.
"We're in Kansas and in Missouri this summer. We are at the Kickapoo Nation Tribe Schoo and then we are serving Doniphan County with our mobile site, and then we have three sites in Hiawatha this summer," said Feuerbacher.
"Provide a service to them, to bring them in and get to know them and build those relationships," said Michelle Crigger, the Edge Church, Second Harvest volunteer.
With foods like hotdogs, chips, fruit and milk, kids 18 and younger get the balanced meal to keep them nutritious all summer long and all for free.
"To be able to have them come in, to give them a meal and know that it's not costing them anything, they're blessed and you're blessed," said volunteer Michelle Crigger. "It's good all the way around."
The program will run June 23-August 15, Monday through Friday at 15 sites in St. Joseph and six in Kansas.
To see a complete list of all the locations, click here.
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