Opinion

Summer not so fun for kids who are hungry; things you can do to help | Editorial

It’s summertime, and, as the song says, the livin’ is easy. But that’s not necessarily the case for needy school children on summer break.

If children get free or reduced-cost meals during the school year, summer can be three months of an empty stomach. Parents, who don’t have enough money to provide their kids a healthy breakfast or lunch when school is in session, certainly can’t now. Also, summer is hardly the time most people’s thoughts turn to giving and helping.

That won’t soothe a child with an empty stomach. But, fortunately, area food banks and social service agencies understand the problem and work hard in the summer to support needy families. You can help, too.

Food Lifeline, for example, is providing snacks and meals to Bellevue kids from low-income families. The organization’s Kids Cafe program is operating at four Bellevue locations: Eastside Terrace, Spiritwood Manor, Hidden Village and The Club Teen Center. More information about Food Lifeline is at www.foodlifeline.org.

Movies in the Park — that shows free films each week in Bellevue’s Downtown Park — designates a local agency to receive help from movie-goers. The beneficiary on July 22 is Jubilee REACH. Among the various things it needs for those it serves is kids snacks. On July 29, Bellevue LifeSpring is asking people to bring kids snacks, granola bars, crackers and Goldfish crackers.

Hopelink operates its End Summer Hunger program, designed specifically for needy kids who no longer get food through the schools. Through August it is seeking to stock healthy breakfast and lunch-type foods at its five food banks. The organization especially could use fresh fruit and fruit juices, peanut butter, cereal, ramen and snacks. Check out www.hope-link.org for ways to help.

 

– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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