Summer is the Hungriest Season

Nationwide, students go hungry in the summertime. During the school year, many students who are food insecure rely on school meals to receive the essential nutrition they need. However, during summer months, many are at risk of becoming nutritionally deprived. Thanks to Manna House and their Summer Feeding Program, fewer students in Midlothian are faced with that reality.

According to No Kid Hungry, nationwide, 1 in 6 children are food insecure. In Midlothian ISD, that number is as high as 1 in 4. And while many school districts provide a free feeding program on a campus, for working families whose children are home during the summer, transportation can be a barrier. 

Manna House has engaged their problem-solving skills by sending the food out to where it is most needed. Meal sites were located in areas near Village South, Kimmel Park, and Jaycee Park.  They were open from 11AM to 1PM and any Midlothian ISD student was eligible to attend.

“It is not well-known that there are hungry kids in Midlothian, “ says Manna House Executive Director, Sissy Franklin. “But we know there are many kids who may only get one meal a day if that. We are committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to have nutritious food options available to them year-round.”

Funded by a USDA grant, participants were able to  receive lunch and a snack each day. Oftentimes, students were able to take additional snacks home for later as well. Volunteers, many from church partners, help the operation run smoothly each day. From prepping and packing the meals, to running the sites and handing out food, the feeding program offers more than just food. 

“Because we see the same kids most days, our volunteers are able to engage with them. It’s an opportunity for another adult to check on these kids and make sure they have what they need,” explains Franklin.

Summer months also hit area food pantries particularly hard, as families are relying on supplemental food without the help of daily school meals. As a result, many food pantries have bare shelves as we enter the month of September. This is why September is Hunger Action Month. If you would like to help Change your Community for as little as $.50 a day, click here to learn how to participate.