Given that humans must burn more calories over the summer to keep cool, record temperatures this summer will further increase the need for free summer meals for low-income children funded by the federal government.
That is why the nonprofit group Hunger Free America is now ramping up its efforts to publicize the USDA National Hunger Hotline – which can be reached at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish) – through which callers can locate summer meals sites for kids, food pantries or soup kitchens for families, and/or other government and private meals programs near them.
Even though children need just as much, if not more, nutrition during the summer months, in Oregon, only 16.2 percent of kids who receive free and reduced school meals, receive summer meals. Raising awareness about this program is the single greatest barrier to participation. Summer meals are available to all kids 18 and under, and no identification is required.
Hunger Free America also just launched, www.hungervolunteer.org. a state-of-the art volunteer matching portal to make it easier to mobilize the unique talents and skills of each individual volunteer in order to take the biggest bite out of hunger.