The East Texas Food Bank is making sure kids are receiving a well-balanced meal over their summer break. Its Summer Food Service Program serves children in low-income communities who participate in free and reduced feeding programs during the school year. Officials say since these programs end when school does, the program helps fill that hunger gap.
"These kids may not have a nutritious meal provided to them in the summer and we're able to provide that to them and that's very beneficial," said Michael Hetrick, the Online Communications Manager for the East Texas Food Bank. "Kids are active, they need to have those vitamins and things like that."
Food bank officials say children benefit from the service nutritionally by receiving well-rounded meals while parents are able to stretch their food dollars further.
"You know this really provides something for them where they don't have to worry about, oh is my son or daughter going to eat something for lunch," said Hetrick. "They know that they're going to go to the park and that they'll have something nutritious for them."
Parents say the program is not only providing financial relief, but gives them a sense of community. Fun activities are often planned at many of the distribution sites. Meals are served four to five days a week at nearly 50-sites across East Texas, including Jefferson, Carthage, and Marshall. For details on locations and times, click here.