Food pantry hopes to end summer hunger for Kentucky children

06/03/2015 03:49 PM

LEXINGTON — This week, Kentucky school children have either begun or are getting close to their annual summer break. But sadly for many of Kentucky’s kids on free and reduced lunch, the end of the school year means an end to three regular well-balanced meals a day.

God’s Pantry Food Bank, a Lexington-based organization that services a 50-county area in central and eastern Kentucky, provides free meals for children over the summer months in Fayette, Clay, Fleming, Lewis, Owsley, Scott, McCreary, Rockcastle, Estill and Rowan counties, as part of their Summer Food Service Program.

All children, under the age of 18 can show up at designated locations and times to get a free meal. Summer tends to be a challenging time for low-income families who are eligible for free and reduced lunch during the school year since they have to provide for 10 additional meals per week that the kids aren’t getting at school during the summer months.

Marian Guinn, CEO of God’s Pantry says that many families can’t afford that summer spike of their grocery budget.

“Their food stamps budget doesn’t increase in the summer,” Guinn said. “Their employers don’t necessarily provide them with more wages in the summer. There’s no increase in funds necessarily.”

The organization has been providing the Summer Food Service Program to Fayette and surrounding counties since 2002.

However, their goal has been to expand the program to additional counties in their 50-county service area.

This summer, they’ve added Estill, Rockcastle and Rowan counties to bring the total number of counties to ten.

“Many of the counties that we work in have populations which 50 percent or more of the children are eligible for these meals,” Guinn said. “In fact, in our 50-county service area, approximately 85,000 children are food insecure or at risk of hunger.”

For a list of the dates, times and sites where children can take part in the God’s Pantry Summer Food Program Click here


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