No child should go hungry | In Our Opinion
June 29, 2012 · 11:17 AM
Of all community issues, few are as alarming as the fact that local children go hungry.
Former North Kitsap School District superintendent Gene Medina remembers seeing children on Monday morning enjoying their first real meal since lunch at school on Friday. That begged the question, “How do children who depend on free and reduced lunches during the school year get the food they need during the summer?”
Districtwide, 33.5 percent of students, or 2,237, qualified for their school’s free or reduced-price lunch program in 2011. Several programs are working to ensure children get the nutrition they need this summer.
- Food for Kids is raising money to help pay for summer school lunches at Wolfle Elementary School and provide food packets for students when summer school ends — a seven-week period between the end of summer school and the beginning of the school year.
“We’re raising $5,950 that will basically help us deliver two packets a week for seven weeks, and cover the gap in funding for summer school lunches,” he said. Last year, Food for Kids provided food packets for seven weeks for 50-60 children. “This year, we’re projecting 75,” Medina said.
Send donations to Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 832, Kingston, WA 98346.
- The USDA Summer Food Program is serving free meals and snacks to children and some adults at Poulsbo Elementary School and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Kitchen & Gym, as well as five locations in Central and South Kitsap. Individuals older than 18 who participate in school programs for people with mental or physical challenges may be eligible. For meal times, call (866) 348-6479; call (877) 842-6273 for information in Spanish.
- Martha & Mary KIDS operates an on-site before- and after- school program at nine elementary schools — seven in North Kitsap and two in Silverdale. Children get meals and snacks, and get to participate in arts and crafts, field trips, and other activities. Call 779-7500 for more information or to learn how you can help.
- North Kitsap Fishline provides meals through its Food for Thought program. The program began in October 2010 and served 60 students districtwide its first year. Call 779-5190 for more information or to learn how you can help.