As part of a series of “Say No to Summer Hunger” events, Feeding America is teaming up with local food banks to serve much-needed summer meals to kids facing hunger.
The event was in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and was hosted at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles, where Brandt, Garth and Harris served free and nutritious lunches to dozens of kids and teens under age 18. The library is located in Los Angeles County, where the number of children living in food-insecure households ranks highest in the nation with 591,000 children who may not know where they will find their next meal.
“Child hunger exists in communities all across America,” said Jennie Garth. “There should be no reason that a child in this country is allowed to go hungry.”
Nationally, 22 million children rely on free or reduced-priced meals to nourish them during the school year. When school is out during the summer months, however, only 2.7 million children have access to free or reduced-price meals through summer feeding programs.
“Summer should be spent outside playing with friends, not worrying where or if you’ll eat lunch that day,” said Samantha Harris. “Kids need energy, and food is fuel!”
As a means to combat child hunger and close the summer meal gap, the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks helps to coordinate and supply food to summer feeding programs that are operated directly in communities with increased need. Last year, more than 130 member food banks helped distribute nearly 8 million meals to children at 4,200 summer feeding sites.
“I hope that the 25 lunches I served today inspire someone else to serve 25 lunches in their own community,” said Betsy Brandt. “Child hunger is an unacceptable reality that we absolutely have the power to change.”
Feeding America is teaming up with its Entertainment Council members like Brandt, Garth and Harris to host a series of “Say No to Summer Hunger” events across the country. The events are designed to raise awareness of the issue of child hunger and encourage the public to get involved.
To learn more about summer hunger and find ways to help kids in your community, visit FeedingAmerica.org.