Did you know Second Harvest Food Bank serves nearly 100,000 children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties?
With Memorial Day behind us, summer’s arrival means no school for local students. However, instead of celebrating the final school bell, many children are worried about being able to eat now that they will lose access to nutritionally rich school meals.
This summer with our Share Your Lunch campaign, the Food Bank is increasing the amount of snacks and kid-friendly meals we provide for these 100,000 children through programs like Kids NOW (Nutrition on Weekends) and Family Harvest, which provides monthly groceries for families with kids. We understand that having access to healthy foods is vital to a child’s growth and development. Therefore, we chose kid-friendly snacks to be our June foods of the month.
Why kid-friendly snacks?
There are several healthy snack options we provide for children within our local communities. Some examples include: fruit cups, graham crackers, whole grain crackers, low sugar cereals, pretzels and high fiber cereal bars. The USDA encourages whole grains consumption not only to decrease risk of chronic diseases but to increase one’s dietary fiber and help with digestion. Fruits are especially important to help children have a balanced diet. Eating fruits on a regular basis may protect children against future obesity, heart disease and cancers. They are low in calories and rich with vitamins such as potassium or Vitamin C, which can help grow and repair body tissue. These kid-friendly snacks are supplements to the perishable items Second Harvest also provides to our partner agencies such as fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, bread and turkey lunch meat.
Our nutritionist Janet Hung explains, “Snacking is really important for kids because it replenishes the energy they need and can provide nutrients sometimes missed in a meal. Let’s help children choose healthier options for snacks. By providing snacks that are high in nutrients, like vitamins from fruit cups, and fiber from wholegrain crackers, we are helping our children grow stronger and be healthy.”
How You Can Help:
You can help the Food Bank fight summer hunger for children with three easy ways. One way is to host a targeted food drive and collect the kid-friendly snacks listed above. Secondly, you could make an online donation. A $10 donation feeds 20 children! We are also happy to accept your food donations at any of our three locations. Your support helps local children receive the meals they need each month to thrive and enjoy a carefree summer.