Summer Food Program For Needy Children Gets Boost In Funding

By
Associated Press
Taylor Mirfendereski

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 30, 2013 10:34 am

UPDATE: 10:21 AM Gov. John Kasich has authorized spending up to $1.5 million more to help feed needy children during the summer when they aren't getting free lunches at school.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the money will help continue last summer's weekend meals backpack program for children in need. Last year, 265 locations in the state distributed backpacks to children that included two breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. 
 
"Our goal [this year] is to feed at least 10,000 kids a week for 10 weeks, providing more than 600,000 meals to children in need," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks. 
 
The executive order, signed by Kasich on Tuesday, authorized the spending of $500,000 more than last year for the summer food program. The money comes from the state's Temporary Assistance of Needy Families funds. 
 
Hamler-Fugitt said the foodbank association plans to use the boost in funding to feed children in rural areas where no summer food program currently exists. 
 
"It will be used to test the innovative approaches that will address the very high need areas that are without summer food programs. This could be done with a mobile pantry run in rural areas or it could be done in connection with farmers markets," she said. 
 
Some 45 percent of school-aged children in Ohio receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but when summer comes, participation in the seasonal companion program available to those same children draws only a fraction of eligible youngsters. 
 
"When schools close their doors, their children are without these critical meals," said Hamler-Fugitt. "During the summer months, our foodbanks are overwhelmed with families and children who report that they don't have money to replace the food that the children were receiving over the school year," said Hamler-Fugitt.
 
The foodbank association said childhood hunger can lead to higher rates of diabetes and other conditions, and affect learning. 

 


Gov. John Kasich has authorized spending up to $1.5 million more to help feed needy children during the summer when they aren't getting free lunches at school.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks said the money will help continue last summer's weekend meals backpack program for children in need. The money comes from the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. Kasich signed the order Tuesday.

Some 45 percent of school-aged children in Ohio receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year. But when summer comes, participation in the seasonal companion program available to those same children draws only a fraction of eligible youngsters.

The foodbank association said childhood hunger can lead to higher rates of diabetes and other conditions, and affect learning.

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