Groups Work to Feed Kids During the Summer

Published 06/03 2014 05:22PM

Updated 06/03 2014 05:50PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Despite a recent report saying summer nutrition programs continue to fall short in Missouri, several programs are working to make sure children are fed in St. Joseph.

"We all know it but we lose sight of the fact that food is literally something you can't live without," said Tamara Grubb, Second Harvest Community Food Bank.

The St. Joseph School District is participating in the Seamless Summer Program. It's a program that provides meals when school is not in session. The district says they won't turn away students during the summer months to feed them if they show up.

"It's just really nice that we are able to open our doors and let them continue that routine of eating," said Charisse Giseburt, coordinator of summer programs and volunteers for the district.

Second Harvest also runs a "No Hunger Summer" program that offers free meals to those 18 and younger. Grubb says last summer they served 20,000 meals. This year they expect to double that number and serve 40,000 meals to children in need.

"[We will] go out to the most impacted areas in our community to have summer meals available where we literally pull up in the neighborhood and serve the kids right there," added Grubb.

The Food Research and Action Center reports Missouri is one of six states in the nation that the USDA has targeted for increased assistance. It's all apart of their aim to feed kids in low income areas.

School leaders say a balanced meal also helps a child's overall well-being.

"Having their tummies full will help them behave better, will help them learn better for the most part it just helps the whole child not just so they're not hungry," added Giseburt.

Experts say in some cases, the most balanced meal they'll receive is a school meal.

"Although they have access to food at home, it typically isn't the healthiest food that they can get," said Grubb.

Second Harvest Community Food Bank serves meals for free to kids Monday through Friday starting June 23 through August 15. The serving times are 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at the following locations: Bode Ice Arena, The Edge Church, Woodson Chapel, Brookdale Presbyterian Church, Keys Christian Fellowship and Cathedral.

To learn more information about the program and the "No Hunger Summer" program, call 816-364-3663.

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