More Than 330,000 Kids in The Delaware Valley Face Summer Hunger
Philadelphia, PA – June 17, 2015 – Hundreds of thousands of kids who receive school meals may go hungry this summer, according to a newly-released study from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Of the 330,000 children in Philabundance’s nine-county service area who receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunches, FRAC estimates that five of six of them will not receive these needed meals over the summer. Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, will help provide more food to families with children this summer.
While many local families enjoy boardwalk food and BBQs, others struggle to feed their children over the next few months. Of the 330,000 children in the Delaware Valley who receive free and reduced meals at school, more than 275,000 of them live in the five Pennsylvania counties Philabundance serves (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia) and more than 60,000 children live in the New Jersey counties Philabundance serves (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem).
FRAC’s report Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation found that summer meals served 16.2 children for every 100 low-income children participating in school lunch during the 2013-2014 school year, a slight increase from the ratio of 15.1:100 served in the 2012-2013 school year. Despite the uptick, many children will still go without breakfast or lunch… or both.
“Philabundance serves more than 75,000 people each week, a quarter of whom are children,” said Glenn Bergman, Philabundance’s new Executive Director. “We as an organization and a community need to do all we can to help our neighbors struggling with hunger put food on their table, especially in the summer months when so many of children lose the school meals families count on to make ends meet.”
Because hungry children in our area face greater need when school is out, Philabundance will continue summer food distributions through the KidsBites initiative at Lowell Elementary School in Olney. Distributions will occur from 10:30-11:30 on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month in July and August for Lowell students and their families.
Philabundance’s Fresh For All (FFA) program will also run through the summer. Like a traveling farmer’s market, FFA returns to chosen locations, at the same day and time every week, with a truck full of fresh produce and bakery products for distribution, free-of-charge, to individuals registered with the program. Registration is quick and easy and no one is turned away. To learn about our locations and dates, visit our website.
Kids and families facing hunger will also receive help via Phans Feeding Families. Back for the fifth year, Phans Feeding Families, a partnership among the Phillies, Citizens Bank and Philabundance, is an initiative aiming at hitting childhood hunger out of the park. Phans from all over the region will again help raise money and collect food for those in need at a special game on Saturday June 20, as well as at select games throughout the summer. Eight dollars of each online ticket sold to the Phillies/Cardinals game on June 20 will provide 16 meals, and each commemorative Phans pin sold will provide 6 meals. Buy tickets online.
Philabundance has also launched a Summer Hunger Hero campaign, of which 100% of donations will help fight summer hunger — for every $1 you donate, Philabundance will provide two meals to help feed those in need.
Families who need help finding summer meals can visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks. They can also text ‘Food’ to 877877 or call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-HAMBRE.
For more information, please contact Stefanie Arck-Baynes, Senior Manager of Communications & Public Relations at Philabundance, at 215-339-0900 x1503.
The report, Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, is a ‘summer nutrition status report’ that provides data for all states and looks at national and state trends. This annual report is released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the leading national organization working for more effective public and private policies to eradicate domestic hunger and undernutrition. The report is available online at http://frac.org/pdf/2015_summer_nutrition_report.pdf
Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to people in need in partnership with organizations and individuals. It serves more than 75,000 people per week through neighborhood distribution programs and a network of more than 400 member agencies in 9 counties. In 2013, Philabundance distributed nearly 30 million pounds of food. For more information about Philabundance, visit www.philabundance.org or call 215-339-0900.