For thousands of children and teens across Lake and Porter county, summer break is more than just a break from school—it’s a break from the guaranteed nutrition provided by free or reduced-priced meals provided during the school day. To help ensure that all kids have the nutrition they need during the summertime, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana will kick off its Summer Food Service Program on Monday, June 12. The program is part of a national initiative sponsored annually by the USDA; it will provide breakfast and lunch to children and teens ages 18 and under at partnering locations throughout the summer.
“Hunger has a devastating impact on children, and even periodic hunger can have lasting effects,” said Steve Beekman, executive director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “Having enough to eat should be the last thing a child worries about during the summertime.”
According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap report, more than 33,000 children in Lake and Porter counties—or one in five—are considered food insecure, meaning they have limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate food at some point during the year.
The Food Bank is one of many community organizations providing summer feeding sites to young people in need this summer.
“The Food Bank works year-round to provide nutritious meals to children facing hunger in our community,” said Beekman. “The Summer Food Service Program is critical to bridging the summer hunger gap for kids and teens. We’re grateful to be part of a community that is dedicated to providing children with the nutrition they need all year long.”
Food Bank summer food service sites are open Monday through Friday, from June 12 through August 4 at the following locations:
Bessie Owens Center
4506 Tod Avenue, East Chicago
3616 Elm Street, East Chicago
Martin Luther King Center
4925 Gladiola Avenue, East Chicago
3509 Spruce Street, East Chicago
3550 Pennsylvania Ave. East Chicago
900 Shell Street. East Chicago