With July here, summer is in full swing with warmer weather and inviting sunshine. The additional daylight hours means there is more time for young children to play and stay outside. With more physical activity, it is extra important for children to stay hydrated throughout the day and have healthy beverages to drink.
While children are on summer break, 1 out of 5 local children will not have access to free and reduced-price meals offered through school nutrition programs. With our current Share Your Lunch campaign, Second Harvest Food Bank is providing not only snacks but hearty and filling kid-friendly meals to our partners who serve children, such as local day camps and youth shelters.
We chose alternative kid-friendly drinks as our latest foods of the month because they contribute valuable nutrients to a child’s diet. Examples of these healthy drinks can include 100% fruit juices, 100% vegetable juices or non-perishable milk and soy drinks. USDA’s MyPlate initiative recommends half of your plate be filled with vegetables and fruit. Including 100% juice boxes made from oranges, apples, grapes and grapefruit to a child’s meal can add to their daily fruit intake; single-serving, non-perishable milk or soy drinks can help them develop strong bones.
Food Bank nutritionist Janet Hung explains, “Milk and juice are good choices as beverages because they provide important vitamins and nutrients. Although fruit juice is nutritious, encourage children to limit it to ½ cup per day because it can have a lot of sugar.”
How You Can Help:
There are three easy ways you can help Second Harvest fight summer hunger for all local children. One way is to host a targeted food drive and encourage people to donate the individually packaged kid-friendly drinks listed above. Another way is to make an online donation. A donation of $10 feeds 20 children! If you would like to give a food donation, any of our three locations will accept your donation.
Your support helps local children like Angela receive the meals they need every month to dream big and grow up healthy!