Greene County Children Missing 132,000 Meals
Partnering Organizations Trying to Fill Gap
Pittsburgh, PA (June 1, 2015) – In Greene County, 2,200 or 45 percent of school-age children are eligible to receive 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 132,000 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 27,349 meals being served to children throughout Greene 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, often in a creative and engaging way.
The Central Greene School District teamed up with the Summer Food Service Program because of the need that was identified in the county.
“The students in our district are our number one priority,” stated Superintendent of Central Greene School District Brian Uplinger. “The need to ensure our students are properly fed over the summer months is crucial to the retention of valuable information learned from the previous school year, to give them a proper start for the coming school year and to give them the opportunity to grow and mature at a proper rate. We care deeply about the health, wellness, safety, security and success of each of our children.”
Through the efforts of the Central Greene School District, other local school districts and community organizations throughout the county, the lunchtime meal gap for Greene County children will continue to shrink during the summer months. Additional sponsors in Greene County include Carmichaels and West Greene School Districts.
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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