The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana kicked off its Summer Food Service Program on Monday, June 6. The program is part of a national initiative sponsored by the USDA; it will provide breakfast and lunch to more than 400 children and teens ages 18 and under at a dozen partnering locations throughout the summer.
“The summer months can be especially difficult for our children and families struggling with hunger,” said Arleen Peterson, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “Many young people in our community rely on the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs for meals during the week, so when the school year ends, so do those guaranteed, nutritional meals.”
According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap report, 33,280—or more than 20 percent of children in Lake and Porter—are considered food insecure, meaning they have limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate food at some point during the year.
“The last thing a child should have to think about during the summer is whether or not they are going to have something to eat that day,” said Peterson. “Summer Food Service tries to bridge the gap of summer meals that children and teens face when school is out for the year, and ensure that children have access to the good, nutritious food they need all year long.”
The Summer Food Service Program runs from June 6 – August 5, at the following sites in Merrillville, Hobart, Gary, and East Chicago.
Little Dreamers (5201 Broadway)
Advancing Christ’s Kingdom (1001 West 37th Avenue)
Miracle Temple (4709 East 13th Ave) Oak Knoll Community Center (4200 West 24th Ave)
Clemente Center (3616 Elm Street)
Martin Luther King Center (48023 Melville Avenue)
Marktown (3509 Spruce Street)
Penn Center (3550 Pennsylvania Avenue)
Heritage Center (4506 Tod Avenue)
Roxana Center (900 Shell Street)
Mission of Jesus Christ (3924 Kennedy Avenue)
151st Community Center (4925 Gladiola)
Visit foodbanknwi.org/SummerFeeding for more information.