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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Loaves & Fishes – Summer and Food Insecurity: A Growing Challenge


As the days grow longer and temperatures rise, many look forward to summer as a season of relaxation and enjoyment. However, for a significant portion of the population, summer exacerbates a pressing issue: food insecurity. During the school year, many children rely on free or reduced-price school meals as a primary source of nutrition. When schools close for the summer, these children face a heightened risk of hunger, putting additional strain on families already struggling to make ends meet.

Food insecurity is not just a seasonal problem but a year-round crisis. However, the summer months highlight the extra strain. Families who rely on school meal programs must now find alternative sources of nutrition for their children. This is where Loaves & Fishes comes into play, providing crucial support to those in need.

Currently, Loaves & Fishes is serving over 9,000 people a week, a significant increase from previous years. This rise reflects the growing number of individuals and families facing food insecurity, many of whom are experiencing it for the first time due to economic stresses, rising food prices, and other contributing factors.

How can you help? Summer presents a perfect opportunity for families to make a difference together. It allows for discussions about food insecurity both locally and globally and demonstrates how even the smallest efforts can positively impact lives. Here are some philanthropic activities that can help children feel like they are part of the solution:

  • Host a Lemonade Stand: Donate the proceeds to Loaves & Fishes.
  • Volunteer Together: Sign up for one of our family volunteer events at Loaves & Fishes.
  • Collect Nonperishable Food Items or Visit our Virtual Food Drive: Focus on healthy items that support child nutrition and gather donations from friends & family members. This can be in honor of a birthday or in honor of a loved one.
  • Share Your Harvest: Bring vegetables from your garden to Loaves & Fishes.

As we enjoy the pleasures of summer, it’s important to remember and support those who face the season with uncertainty and fear. Loaves & Fishes plays a vital role in bridging the gap and ensuring that everyone has access to the healthy food they need to thrive. Let’s come together to make a difference and ensure no one goes hungry this summer.

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Joni Wiltz
Joni Wiltzhttps://www.loaves-fishes.org
Joni Wiltz is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Loaves & Fishes Community Services. Contact her at jwiltz@loaves-fishes.org. If you would like to learn more about Loaves & Fishes, please visit our website at www.loaves-fishes.org.