School is out for the summer. For most kids, summer means fun. But for about 13 million kids in the U.S., summer means hunger. During the school year, families below poverty level can rely on school programs such as free or reduced-price meals to feed their children. But what happens when school ends? Statistics show that while some kids are able to participate in free meal programs during the summer, 5 out of 6 kids who rely on school meals face food insecurity in the summer, despite programs and resources that are in place to help.
Cristo Rey Community Center, a local nonprofit that aims to fulfill the basic needs of those in the greater Lansing area, is combatting this hunger epidemic through programs designed to provide food for families in need. Their Direct Assistance program includes a food pantry that allows families to shop for a week’s worth of groceries, and a kitchen that provides daily hot breakfasts and sack lunches. It also includes the distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is important because many of these families are located in a food desert – or a location that does not have access to stores with wholesome food.
These Direct Assistance programs are critical to making sure that kids within the Lansing area are fed nutritious and fulfilling meals. However, with such a high demand for meals during the summertime, making sure that every child’s needs are met can be difficult. In an effort to decrease food insecurity in the lives of children, Cristo Rey invites the entire greater Lansing area to join their campaign to help provide food for the kids in our community that face hunger. When donating to Cristo Rey, just a $1 donation can provide more food, and nutrition, than 5 donated canned goods.
If you are interested in working together with Cristo Rey to provide meals for Lansing’s hungry children, contact Michelle Smithers, Cristo Rey’s Development Coordinator, via phone at (517) 253-8250 or via email at email@example.com. For more information, go to www.cristoreycommunity.org.