Hunger doesn't take a vacation: Organizations offering summer meals for kids

Summer help for school lunches available to families

CLEVELAND - More than one in every five children in our area don't know where their next meal will come from and during the summer, it only gets worse.

There are organizations that make it a point to help families feed their children even after the final school bell rings.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District opens the doors of 15 sites to provide free lunch to students who are 18 years old and younger.

They offer the meals every Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Parents and caregivers can eat with their kids for three dollars.

Chris Burkhardt, executive director of food and child nutrition services, said of the children eligible for meals during the school year, only one in six actually eat consistently over the summer.

Salvation Army also offers free meals to children 18 years old and younger.

On Monday through Friday, noon to 1 p.m., the doors are open to serve food to those who need it.

Captain Karen Alverio said they also offer a computer lab, gymnasium and fitness center for kids to stay stimulated and out of trouble.

She said they also try to keep families from going hungry outside of business hours.

“We’re trying to take those incidences where we can either recognize or if a child is telling us that they’re hungry that we can try to connect them to our social service department so we can reach out to the families," Alverio said.

Lastly, you might have seen an ad from No Kid Hungry on Facebook telling you to text 'FOOD' to 877-877. The hotline really does direct you to the closest summer meals site in your area. (It's also available in Spanish by texting 'COMIDA' to 87-877.)

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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