(Memphis) There are two constants in school: homework and a warm meal. But that guarantee turns into a guessing game come summer break.
Shelley Alley of the Mid-South Food Bank said, “If you don’t always have access to food in your home, it’s not the exciting time childhood should be.”
Kids turn to places like The Boys and Girls Club Kid’s Cafe to help them find food.
Antonio Hamilton with the Porter Girls and Boys Club said, “During the school year ,we serve more than 150 kids on a daily basis. During the summertime, that number picks up.”
That mid-day meal is provided by the Mid-South Food Bank.
They feed more than 2,000 kids a week, some of them through places like the Porter Boys and Girls Club, others through their backpack program.
Alley said, “It provides six meals for a kid to have over the weekend, but in the summer over the week.”
Seventy percent of students in the Shelby County School system rely on free or reduced price meals during the school year. That’s more than 100,000 kids.
These backpack meals cost the food shelf $7 each, and they can feed any child, even if they are homeless.
“All of the food a kid can easily open from the age of 5. It’s all pop tops. Even if they don’t have utilities, they can eat it straight out of the can,” Alley said.
Leaders at the Boys and Girls Club say it’s about more than just a meal. They want the kids to have a routine, and a place they know they can go for guidance and support
Antonio Hamilton said, “This is our chance to get them a well balanced meal, but also talk about their daily challenges and struggles they are faced with.”
Recently the food bank sent 10,000 of their backpack meals to families in Tupelo after the storm, so they really need help with donations to feed these kids this summer.
Click here to donate money to the Mid-South Food Bank.