The A-Team Helps End Summer Hunger

By United Way of King County Posted on June 11, 2015 In Helping Students Graduate

As the school year wraps up with field trips and finals, so does access to reliable the school meals that 100,000 King County kids and families count on. The good news is that there is a federal program that provides free meals to kids and teens living in high poverty areas – all summer long. The bad news is that only 10-14% of area children access free summer meals. A new report from the Food Research and Action Center shows that Washington state ranks 37th in the nation in connecting eligible kids to free summer meals – we can  MUST do better.

This gap is the result of various barriers experienced only during the summer, including a lack of access to meal sites, insufficient program awareness, and limited resources when schools are closed.

4 Problems:

  • Access to sites – transportation can be a major barrier for kids.
  • Awareness of program – only 40% of low income families know summer meal sites exist.
  • Availability – too few sites in the areas that need them the most.
  • Awesome Activities – we need to feed tummies and minds. Too few sites have high quality activities that keep kids engaged and coming back throughout the summer.

We can change this!

United Way of King County and our partners have set a goal of serving more than 630,000 meals this summer – a 15% increase over last year. In order to achieve this goal, we need the smarts, talents, and resources of many so we are assembling an A Team. Partners include Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, Social Innovation Fund, The Boeing Company, City of Seattle, YMCA, WithinReach, and many others to launch an ambitious End Summer Hunger Campaign.

Americorps-VISTA-logo-100x100At the heart of our A Team is a cadre of 80 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates who will spend ten weeks working to make sure no kid is hungry this summer. Our A Team members speak 20 different languages and share a commitment to doing whatever it takes to improve access to summer meals. Pretty awesome!

Will you join the A team to end summer hunger? Here are 3 Ways you can help:

  • Now: Spread the word about free summer meals. Fill out this form to request materials today! http://bit.ly/1LKiYBt
  • June 18: Attend the King County Summer Meals Launch Event. Please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1AyuNJx
  • June 24: Bring the kids to Jefferson Community Center from 11-2 for the City of Seattle Summer Meals Kickoff Party. There will be plenty of food, fun, games, music, and even special guests.

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