Guest Blog Post By: Claire Wagner
Summer is the season of childhood hunger. That’s because the end of the school year means the end of free or reduced-price school meals for one in three students in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Through our STOP Childhood Hunger campaign, Second Harvest intends to make sure they still have healthy, nutritious meals this summer.
Nearly 100,000 children will receive food each month. That’s 60,458 children in Santa Clara County and 33,170 in San Mateo County – 40% of all people served by Second Harvest. We’ll provide snacks and heartier, kid-friendly items like low-sugar cereal bowls, lunch meat, sliced bread, peanut butter, and fresh fruit. To support children’s healthy growth and development, we’re increasing the amount of protein in the meals, ensuring that they meet the nutrition requirements set by the USDA.
Several partner agencies and special programs will distribute the food, including Family Harvest, day camps and other children’s programs (Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs/YWCAs, and Big Brothers Big Sisters), and youth shelters (Bill Wilson Center). If you know families with kids who are worried about not having enough to eat this summer, urge them to call our Food Connection hotline at 1-800-984-3663. Our specialists can connect them to food-assistance programs like these and to CalFresh (food stamps).
Feeding 100,000 children from June – August is an ambitious goal. Can you help? To show your support, make a donation at www.SHFB.org/SCH. (If you make a monthly pledge, you’ll connect children with food all year long.) You can also host a drive or donate food items from our child-friendly food list. If you use social networks, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@2ndHarvest). And to learn more about how hunger affects children, read our recent blog post: The Impact of Childhood Hunger: What’s Really at Stake?
No child should go hungry! Please help us ensure that any kid who needs a meal can get one.