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Effects of Summer Hunger Can Last A Lifetime

If we want the children in our community to have a bright tomorrow, we need to make sure they are getting enough food today. 

Many families across Middle and West Tennessee rely on free and reduced-price meals provided by schools. And when summer begins and school lets out, those meals go away.

During the summer months, struggling families have to provide 10 additional meals per week, per child. In a typical 10-week summer break, that’s 100 meals per kid. These additional meals are a tremendous burden for low-income families who have difficulty providing enough food even when school is in session.

What happens when a child experiences hunger?

If children do not receive the nutrition they need, they can begin life at a serious disadvantage. According to Feeding America, children who experience hunger are more likely to be hospitalized and face higher risks of health conditions like asthma and anemia. Kids who struggle with hunger are also more likely to have problems with school and social situations; including having to repeat academic grades, experiencing developmental impairments, and having more social and behavioral issues. All of which could have lasting impact on a child’s success now and through adulthood.

Summer food programs can help bridge the gap

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee partners with educational and community organizations to provide meals and snacks to local kids through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). 

Through this program we provide breakfasts, lunches, or suppers, to help ensure low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. SFSP sites include community centers, libraries, day camps, schools, and other programs that also offer enrichment and fun activities for children over the summer.

Help Us Make This A Hunger Free Summer

All donations are now being matched during Second Harvest’s Hunger Free Summer campaign, up to $500,000. These funds will enable Second Harvest can continue its work of providing healthy, nutritious meals and snacks to at-risk children. Every $1 you give now will double to provide eight meals for kids facing hunger in our community. Let’s name this a #HungerFreeSummer for all children in Middle and West Tennessee.

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