Kellogg is expanding access to summer meal sites that replace free- and reduced-price breakfast/lunch when school is out
Summer Hunger Programs
“What child doesn’t love summer? The many children that depend on school meals, who truly have no idea what or where their next meal will be,” said Laura Montague, Food Service Director, Lakeview/Pennfield Schools in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Nearly all (six out of seven) U.S. children who eat a free- or reduced-price lunch at school don’t have access to the same nourishing meals during the summer and even fewer have access to breakfast1. To fight summer hunger in 2019, Kellogg and one of its charitable funds partnered with United Way Worldwide, No Kid Hungry and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to support programs that increase access to food for kids when school is not in session. These summer-meal sites are a lifeline for low-income families who otherwise spend an extra $316 per month on food during the summer.2
Across the U.S., Kellogg and its Froot Loops™, Frosted Flakes and Pringles® brands partnered with United Way to provide free summer breakfasts and lunches in Battle Creek, Dallas, Des Moines, Detroit, Sacramento, Seattle and Jackson, TN.
Kellogg also was a proud sponsor of No Kid Hungry’s Share Summer Tour that allowed people to text ‘FOOD’ to 877-877 to find free summer-meals sites in their neighborhoods.
Because it’s important to expand summer feeding programs to reach more children, the Kellogg Company Fund supported FRAC’s Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation report that measured the reach of summer-nutrition programs.
If you’ve never been to a summer meal program, here’s what might see. Every morning, two young boys ‒ Jamaal and Xavier ‒ excitedly run from their apartment to the nearby Othello Playground in Southeast Seattle. In addition to eating breakfast and lunch at the park, they participate in activities led by volunteers at the United Way of King County program. One day they make jellyfish out of paper plates and another they plant seeds while learning about photosynthesis. Jamaal and Xavier spend three to four hours at the park every day, time they otherwise would spend home alone while their single mother works.
Summer meal programs like the one at Othello Playground are extremely important to communities. They also are challenging to operate. Rural children may not have transportation, urban children may not be able to leave home and walk to the park alone, families may simply not know of these essential services. Kellogg Company’s support of summer meal sites championed United Way’s efforts to address these barriers and identify best practices to share nationwide.
The United Way of Central Iowa worked with Kellogg to purchase advertising on buses operating in Des Moines and the suburbs to make sure families knew about their summer feeding sites.
Children in the Sacramento, California area had the opportunity to visit 18 sites for meals and literacy programs.
In Dallas, summer meal providers received mini-grants to attract more children by providing fun on-site activities and even better food.
Summer hunger is not isolated to the U.S. Kellogg Canada also fought summer hunger by partnering with Food Banks Canada during its fourth annual After the Bell Summer Hunger initiative and volunteer packing day. More than 1,000 employee volunteers from Kellogg and other companies came together to pack 100,000 healthy food packs for local food banks to distribute to children across Canada in July and August when school is not in session. The food packs included Kellogg’s® cereals, Kashi® bars, shelf-stable milk, crackers, oatmeal, raisins, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Summer hunger is an upsetting issue. Most children look forward to summer vacation as a time of fun and rest, but for those living with food insecurity, it can be a time of worry,” said Chris Hatch CEO of Food Banks Canada. “After the Bell fills the gap during the summer months with healthy food packs for children dealing with hunger.”
Summer hunger is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. Around the world, more than 820 million people face a future of food insecurity3 brought on by our growing population, climate vulnerability and malnutrition. Kellogg has been actively working to help solve these challenges for more than a century. Through its Kellogg’s® Better Days global signature cause platform, the company is committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 by addressing the interconnected issues of food security, climate resiliency and well-being for people, communities and the planet.