By Amanda Litvinov
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Summer is not a carefree time for kids who don’t have enough to eat.
As schools across the country let out for the year, food insecurity will grow for the 15.7 million children who live in households struggling against hunger.
The federal Summer Nutrition Programs are meant to fill the gap for school-age kids from low income families during the summer months. But only 16% of students who qualify for federal summer meals programs participate, according to the most recent study by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).
Barriers to participation include a lack of awareness that the programs are available, and no transportation to get kids to the summer meals site. Districts have found creative solutions to deliver summer meals, but those programs are only possible when states access available federal resources.
NEA strongly supports strengthening the summer food program to improve access for low-income students.