Accomack County Schools receives funds from No Kid Hungry

June 5, 2024
 |
No Kid Hungry Virginia

As schools close for the summer, school districts and nonprofits are beginning to launch summer meal programs to connect kids with nutritious meals outside of the classroom.

This year, more school districts and nonprofits serving rural communities have a new tool to reach kids this summer: Non-congregate summer meal options. New federal policy changes allow organizations to provide flexible options like multi-day meal distribution and deliveries to reach kids in more remote areas of the state.

To support and expand non-congregate programs in Virginia, No Kid Hungry has announced over $284,000 in grants this year. Funds will support organizations with staffing, meal delivery, updated equipment, transportation costs and expanding outreach.

Accomack County Public Schools was the recipient of $5,000 from the program. The funding is part of a larger grant initiative by No Kid Hungry totaling $284,000 across 14 school districts and nonprofits to combat summer hunger.

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“Summer should be full of sunshine and playtime, not worrying about empty pantries,” said Sarah Steely, Director of No Kid Hungry Virginia. “These summer meal flexibilities offer a tremendous opportunity to reach more children in rural communities, who have traditionally had a much harder time accessing summer meal sites. These grants will help strengthen programs, enabling teams to provide summer meals in the way they know work best for their community.”

Approximately 1 in 7 kids face food insecurity in Virginia and summer can be one of the hungriest times of year for the thousands of kids who receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year.

Summer meal programs help fill the gap, but have historically only reached a fraction of the kids who rely on them due to barriers like transportation, fuel costs, extreme weather and parent work schedules. Challenges are especially pronounced in rural areas, where children often live far from the nearest meal site.

The latest non-congregate flexibilities are an exciting opportunity to expand the reach of summer meals and provide more children with much-needed nutrition during the summer months, according to No Kid Hungry. To learn more, visit https://state.nokidhungry.org/virginia

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