Summer break is exciting for many students, and for those in Baltimore City public schools, that break started today. For many children, the summer months offer welcomed free time to play outside, engage in activities, and spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, many families struggle to feed their children during this time without the help of school breakfast and lunch programs. Let’s talk about the importance of food assistance and how you can keep your children from going hungry in Baltimore this summer.
Summer Hunger: The Facts
According to the Maryland Food Bank, “Maryland kids who benefit from school feeding programs during the academic year miss more than 40 million meals in the summer.” That’s right folks – 40 million meals. That is 40 million meals that parents who need assistance are now expected to provide, and this can be severely challenging.
According to No Kid Hungry, an organization dedicated to ending child hunger, “Research shows that family grocery costs rise more than $300 a month when school is out and school meals disappear, putting a strain on already-tight budgets.” Sadly, of the 22 million children who have access to a free or reduced-price school lunch during the year, only 4 million have access to a summer meal.
What are the Risks of Summer Hunger?
Summer hunger and a lack of nutrition is extremely dangerous for children and has long-term consequences. Did you know that hunger can literally shrink your heart? Click here to learn more. Children who go hungry in the summer months are more likely to experience the following risks:
- Inability to remember what they learned the prior school year, resulting in education setbacks when school returns
- Iron deficiency
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
How Can You Help Prevent Summer Hunger in Baltimore?
If you want to help prevent a child from going hungry in Baltimore this summer and provide local parents with a priceless peace of mind, considering donating nutritious food to your local community center or faith-based organization. At My Brother’s Keeper, we work to provide reliable meal services to the hungry folks in our community through our Hot Meal Program, Bag Lunch Program, and Food Voucher Program. We also provide special holiday meals, as we understand how trying times can be.
To accommodate the demand for summer meals, we are able to serve 5 meals per week from June to August through our Hot Meal Program. At an average of up to 70 plates per meal, we are able to serve over 18,000 individual meals annually! This doesn’t include bagged lunches, which we also provide through our friends at St. Joseph’s Monastery and other sources. That being said, we can’t provide these resources to feed the hungry without generous donations and help from volunteers. Consider making a donation or volunteering today!
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services including hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194. You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+,Pinterest,Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.