Food Access for the Summer, When Children are out of School
For MANNA FoodBank, and our dedicated network of partner food providers across the region, summer is a busy time for getting food to families who need it—especially families with children. It is more important than ever that MANNA is able to be there for them when they turn to us, especially as more families than ever before have reached out for food support.
Western North Carolina already faces one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the country, and the pandemic has deepened the existing gaps in thousands of families’ food budgets. Many families able to make ends meet prior to the pandemic have needed a little help, but families already facing dire economic challenges prior to the pandemic were plunged even more deeply into the spiral of poverty – and many of those families have children.
Last summer, an incredible crew of volunteers, drivers, area schools and their nutrition teams, members of our partner agency network, and an incredible community of donors all helped to ensure MANNA could provide these supplemental bags of food to more than 3,000 students a week.
These bags are focused on providing not just food to families, but nutritionally dense foods, like fresh produce, to ensure that children across WNC have access to foods that support their growth, development, and long-term well-being.
Read on to learn why children across our region face such steep challenges when it comes to food access and what our wonderful community of supporters, much like yourself, are doing to help make a difference in the lives of thousands of children across the mountains.