Cambria County Children Missing 576,000 Meals
Partnering Organizations Trying to Fill Gap
Pittsburgh, PA (June 3, 2015) – In Cambria County, 9,600 or 51 percent of school-age children are eligible for free or reduced school lunches. What happens to these children during the summer months when there is no school and therefore no school-provided lunch? These children account for a potential total of 576,000 missed lunches because the resources available to them through their schools during the school year are no longer present.
To alleviate this challenge, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership offer the Summer Food Service Program. In 2014, working with community organizations, the Partnership helped facilitate 41,091 meals being served to children throughout Cambria County. The hope is to increase the number of meals served in 2015.
“Children are one of the most vulnerable populations that we serve,” said Lisa Scales, president & CEO at the Food Bank. “They are the future leaders of our nation, but without the proper nutrition they are three times more likely to face a lifetime of health issues, and at least two times as likely to face learning and behavioral roadblocks that prevent them from flourishing.”
By partnering with local schools, summer programs, churches and other community organizations, the Summer Food Service Program is able to provide lunches to children in need through the summer months and in some cases do it in a creative and engaging way.
Through the efforts of local school districts and community organizations throughout the county, the lunchtime meal gap for Cambria County children will continue to shrink during the summer months. Sponsors in the county include Greater Johnstown School District, Jefferson Memorial Church and Cambria County Development Corporation.
Families looking for summer meal options for their children under the age of 18 can get information by calling 211 or by texting “MEALPA” to 877-877.
Any organizations or individuals interested in learning more about how to become involved with the Summer Food Service Program can contact the Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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