SPOKANE, Wash. – School is out for the summer in Spokane and many children in the community struggle to get the meals they need. Second Harvest is asking the public for summer food donations to tackle child hunger.
More than 50% of students in the Spokane Public School District get free and reduced lunch during the school year. When school is out for summer, those meals are no longer available.
Julie Humphreys with Second Harvest said summer time is when they need donations the most.
“In the summer time when children are out of school, they are often times missing two meals a day for Monday through Friday, when they are getting a breakfast and lunch at school,” said Humphreys.
But not only are students missing daily meals, some are also missing out on food Second Harvest sends home with them in their backpacks on Fridays for the weekends.
“All of our elementary schools and a number of our high schools and middle schools do a bite to go program where we send home food for kids on the weekends. They’re also not getting that in the summer time, so there is definitely an increased need we call it summer hunger, it’s very real,” said Humphreys.
Without those meals, Second Harvest said there is an increased need to help families feed their children while school is out for the summer.
“Now their parents have to provide and it’s a real hardship for a lot of them to come up with the resources and provide those meals they used to get at school,” explained Humphreys.
With an increased need these next few months, Second Harvest is asking for donations of food and funds. For every dollar donated, staff can stretch that into five meals. They also need volunteers, like High School Student Samiha Ahmed.
“I feel like it’s the small changes that lead to big changes. I think like just sorting out pears might not be a big deal for me, but it might be a big deal for people who are actually getting the pears,” said Ahmed.
There are plenty of ways you can help make sure a child does not go hungry this summer. For a list of how you can help Second Harvest, click here. There are also weekly informational classes open to the public that teaches you how to save money at the grocery store and still cook healthy food. Each class is different, so check out their availability here.