Special Blog Post by: Marc Baker, Grants Manager

For far too many local kids, summer is a time of anxiety—of wondering when there will be food to eat again.

This is especially true in East Palo Alto, where 95% of the students live in households that meet the income eligibility for free or reduced-price meals at their schools ($29,965/year and $42,643/year for a family of four, respectively). A survey conducted by a Stanford intern confirmed that summer was a time of particularly acute food insecurity, as students lose access to these school meals.

This summer, Second Harvest will be partnering with Ravenswood School District, the San Mateo County Library System, local YMCAs and the Pediatric Advocacy Program at Stanford School of Medicine to address the needs of these children.

Our summer food program will provide meals for children and their parents at 10 community sites (libraries and YMCAs) Monday through Friday for 10 weeks during the summer. In addition to the healthy meals, the libraries and YMCAs will provide educational and enrichment activities throughout the day to help children prepare for the new school year.

Stanford School of Medicine will conduct pre- and post-surveys with parent focus groups to assess how effectively the program meets the summer food needs of their families and what we can do to improve the program in the future. Stanford will oversee the evaluation design, data collection, and analysis and dissemination of program outcomes.

We anticipate serving over 19,000 healthy meals to children and their parents through our 10-week summer program.

Second Harvest will also refer participating families to our school pantry program on the Costano School Campus in East Palo Alto. The school pantry program distributes 90 pounds of groceries per family each month, including milk, chicken, eggs, cereal, peanut butter, ground turkey, rice, beans, canned fruits and vegetables, and fresh produce. Families can receive food year-round.

*** Stand up for kids and support our work to end child hunger in our community. Find out how you can get involved today.