Summer feeding program caters to Flint children, families

FLINT, Michigan—More than 81,000 meals will be provided free of charge through the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s Summer Feeding Program.

The summer feeding program is a partnership between the local food bank, the USDA and the Michigan Department of Education. It provides free meals to kids throughout Genesee County as well as Gladwin, Lapeer, and Saginaw counties.

“There are more than 50,000 kids in the 22 counties we serve who struggle with hunger,” said Kara Ross, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. “During the summer, when school is out, we often think about family vacations or planning fun activities for kids. But the reality is much different for many families in our communities who have the added stress of having to figure out how to replace free or reduced-cost meals their children receive during the school year.”

The Summer Feeding Program collaborates with a host of community organizations, churches, and local agencies to distribute food at more than 60 locations — 14 of which are mobile, delivering meals directly to apartment complexes, schoolyards, and churches focused on regions with higher populations of children in free and reduced lunch programs.

The meals are prepared with the continued recovery from the Flint water crisis in mind. Lead-mitigating nutrient rich food is included and fresh, high-quality ingredients are used during their preparation in the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s kitchen.

In addition to the daily meals, the Food Bank will provide more than 11,000 weekend Nutrition Bags at Summer Feeding Program sites and on Fridays. The sites also include 20-25 minutes of activities and games for kids.

“The goal is simple — to make getting a healthy meal as easy as possible for hungry children,” Ross said.

A full list of Summer Feeding Program sites is available by visiting www.FBEM.org and clicking “Summer Feeding.” Sites in the community take place wherever “Meet Up and Eat Up” signs are displayed. 

Organizations interested in becoming a Summer Feeding Program location can contact Kathleen Payton at (810) 396-0227 or [email protected]

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.

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