22 Million Kids At Risk of Hunger When School is Out for The Summer
Feeding America Entertainment Council members Betsy Brandt, Jennie Garth and Samantha Harris are helping fight child hunger in Los Angeles. As part of a series of “Say No to Summer Hunger” events, Feeding America is teaming up with local food banks to serve much-needed summer meals to kids facing hunger.
The event was in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and was hosted at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles, where Brandt, Garth and Harris served free and nutritious lunches to dozens of kids and teens under age 18. The library is located in Los Angeles County, where the number of children living in food-insecure households ranks highest in the nation with 591,000 children who may not know where they will find their next meal.
“Child hunger exists in communities all across America,” said Jennie Garth. "There should be no reason that a child in this country is allowed to go hungry."
Nationally, 22 million children rely on free or reduced-priced meals to nourish them during the school year. When school is out during the summer months, however, only 2.7 million children have access to free or reduced-price meals through summer feeding programs.
“Summer should be spent outside playing with friends, not worrying where or if you’ll eat lunch that day,” said Samantha Harris. “Kids need energy, and food is fuel!”
As a means to combat child hunger and close the summer meal gap, the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks helps to coordinate and supply food to summer feeding programs that are operated directly in communities with increased need. Last year, more than 130 member food banks helped distribute nearly 8 million meals to children at 4,200 summer feeding sites.
“I hope that the 25 lunches I served today inspire someone else to serve 25 lunches in their own community,” said Betsy Brandt. “Child hunger is an unacceptable reality that we absolutely have the power to change.”
Feeding America is teaming up with its Entertainment Council members like Brandt, Garth and Harris to host a series of “Say No to Summer Hunger” events across the country. The events are designed to raise awareness of the issue of child hunger and encourage the public to get involved.
To learn more about summer hunger and find ways to help kids in your community, visit FeedingAmerica.org.
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Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
For 42 years, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has worked to mobilize resources in the community to alleviate hunger. With a vision that no one goes hungry in Los Angeles County, the Food Bank has distributed more than 1 billion pounds of food since its inception. It provides food to 280,500 people monthly and in 2014 distributed 59 million pounds of food. The Food Bank collects food from hundreds of sources, which – with the help of 27,000 volunteers annually – it distributes through a network of more than 690 partner agencies at more than 1,000 distribution and program sites. In addition, 97 percent of monies raised and in-kind donations go directly to programs. Our efficiency and effectiveness led the LA Business Journal to name the Food Bank as the “Nonprofit Organization of the Year” among large local organizations in 2013. For more information or to get involved, visit: www.lafoodbank.org.