As many of us soak up the sun and enjoy the amazing community events, vacations, splash pads, and pools there is a concern that knows no season or community.
Summer means grilling, smores, popsicles, and so much more to most families I know. But, for many students in our area it means going hungry as school meals are on hiatus.
Of course several school districts offer summer meal programs, but kids still need awareness and transit to the location where the meals are served. With working parents, language, and general access/knowledge barriers this doesn’t always happen.
In case you are wondering how many students in our local districts are registered for Free and Reduced lunch service during the school year the numbers are below. These are the latest stats I could find and does not account for students who may qualify and are not registered. Parents must register each year for the program and provide documentation to qualify.
- Seattle – 33.9% (18,452)
- Bellevue – 17.6% (3,605)
- Everett – 37.6% (7,611)
- Kent – 47.9% (13,373)
- Issaquah – 8.1% (1,658)
- Snoqualmie Valley – 9.9% (698)
- Washington State – 42.9% (473,309)
How can you help? One way to get involved is to support local organizations who help with summer meals. Often times you can find these through your local food banks. If the numbers above reflect families who have applied for free and reduced lunch you can only imagine how many more students are in need. Don’t just consider donating non-perishable food items in the fall around the holidays. Make it a monthly habit. Next time you are at Costco pick up something extra and make that donation!