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Feed the Children Expands Summer Feed & Read Program in 3 Cities

Nonprofit works with partners to provide food, essentials for children, families

OKLAHOMA CITY (JUNE 25, 2024) – The summer months should be a carefree time for children to play with friends and enjoy their childhood. But for 30 million children who rely on school meals, when the school year ends, so does their access to this resource. For the 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. who are already food insecure, this means having even less access to food this summer.

Feed the Children is a leading nonprofit committed to ending childhood hunger. That’s why the nonprofit is expanding its Summer Feed & Read program in Oklahoma City as well as adding partner locations in Memphis, Tenn. and Atlanta, Ga.

For many families, 2024 has brought continued challenges that will make this summer more difficult. Even as food prices continue to rise, several states opted to not participate in the USDA SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) program. This leaves many parents to worry if their children will have enough to eat.
Feed the Children helps by providing vital support to families who experience increased food insecurity during the summer months. The nonprofit is working closely with partners to provide nearly 30,000 prepackaged meal kits for breakfast and lunch this summer. The nonprofit also provides household essentials like cleaning supplies as well as personal care items that are not covered by SNAP benefits. This allows parents and caregivers an opportunity to keep more room in their budget for food.

“Feed the Children is dedicated to increasing domestic programmatic impact as part of our commitment to growth and our goal to improve our support to the communities we serve,” said Colleen Ridenhour, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer at Feed the Children. “Through expanding the Summer Feed & Read program, we aim to help close the meal gap for children experiencing the loss of school meals.”

In addition to food and essential household and personal care items, Feed the Children also provides books and encourages enrollment in local summer reading programs that keep kids’ minds active. Research has shown that young students lose some of their achievement gains – up to one month of school year’s lessons – over the summer. This is especially true in literacy when they don’t read regularly during the summer. When students fall behind in literacy at an early age, they often don’t catch up.

For student Mason, Feed the Children’s Feed & Read program makes summer feel special.

“We can have fun and focus on what we are doing instead of focusing on being hungry,” he said.

This year’s Summer Feed & Read Oklahoma partners include Luther Community Service Center, Oklahoma City Public Schools – Spencer Elementary, Del City Church of Christ, Latino Community Development Agency, South Walker Church of Christ, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, Positive Tomorrows, OKC Dream Center, St. Luke Baptist Church, and YMCA Y Clubhouse at Sooner Haven, Oak Grove and Ambassador Courts. Through this year’s program, the nonprofit will distribute more than 12,000 prepackaged meal kits. The organization is also partnering with the Metropolitan Library System and their “Adventure Begins at Your Library” summer reading program.

In Atlanta, the nonprofit is working with Fulton County Schools and Destiny World Church to provide lunch meal kits to nearly 3,000 students as part of the program. They are also encouraging students to track the books and minutes they read though the Atlanta Public Library system and utilize their iReady platform.

As part of the Summer Feed & Read program in Memphis, Feed the Children will provide nearly 7,000 pre-packaged meal kits to the Emmanuel Center and the Vance Avenue Youth Development Center. The organization is supporting summer learning and working with volunteers to encourage reading and help fight “summer slide” the seasonal learning loss that students can experience when school is out.

“We are grateful for all our partners and their commitment to ensuring children in their community have the food they need this summer,” said Tamara Sandberg, Vice President of U.S. Program Development at Feed the Children. “Together, we will have more impact this summer for children in OKC, Atlanta, and Memphis.”

Individuals and businesses can make a difference in the lives of children and their families by supporting Feed the Children’s efforts to fight summer hunger. This support will provide kids an opportunity to stay active and enjoy their summer.

About Feed the Children

At Feed the Children, we feed hungry kids. We envision a world where no child goes to bed hungry. In the U.S. and internationally, we are dedicated to helping families and communities achieve stable lives and to reducing the need for help tomorrow, while providing food and resources to help them today. We distribute product donations from corporate donors to local community partners, we provide support for teachers and students, and we mobilize resources quickly to aid recovery efforts when natural disasters strike. Internationally, we manage child-focused community development programs in 8 countries. We welcome partnerships because we know our work would not be possible without collaborative relationships.

Visit feedthechildren.org for more information.

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