End Hunger Connecticut tackles summer meals for kids

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH)– Making sure little bellies are full even in the summer months is the mission of End Hunger Connecticut! They want to make sure every child who relies on free lunch at school gets a free lunch when school isn’t in session.

So to make sure, stomachs are full throughout the summer, End Hunger Connecticut is canvassing Naugatuck neighborhoods letting families know about their free meal locations. There are hundreds set up across the state.

“My job is to feed every single child and I want them all to eat and it’s hard to see when they come to school in the morning and they haven’t eaten breakfast yet,” said Food Service Dir. for Naugatuck Schools, Kate Murphy. She was busy volunteering today with the blitz.

“About 50 percent of our population is on free or reduced meals.”

Nationally, only one in seven kids that rely on free or reduced school meals are also getting free summer lunches.

Here in Connecticut we do a little bit better. One in four children are taking advantage but this nonprofit is hoping to reach each and every child.

“A lot of kids do go hungry over the summer because that school breakfast isn’t there. That school lunch isn’t there. Families food budgets go up about $316 throughout the summer which if you’re on a fixed income you’re on a tight budget,” said Shannon Yearwood. “You’ll get a meal just like you would in school. You do have to eat it on site. You don’t have to have any ID, any proof of income. These programs are available where it’s shows they’re going to reach the most kids who are going to benefit from it most.”

So, volunteers will be going out in t-shirts that say “Ask Me About Free Summer Meals” with pamphlets and they’re targeting neighborhoods across the state that will benefit from the program the most.

To find a free meal spot closest to you, head to http://www.endhungerct.org/.

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