While summer vacation is considered to be freedom for many children, for the millions facing hunger it means losing the one place that they can count on for a meal. It is estimated that over 16 million children are at risk of hunger in America, so losing lunchtime at school during the summer means a great deal.
The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has programs throughout the year to help alleviate childhood hunger, including Food for Children, Farm 2 Kids, and the School Pantry Program.
These programs help people like Tami and her fiancé who are raising three beautiful little girls all under the age of six, two with special needs. Tami takes care of the children while her fiancé Ed works part-time with a promise of full-time work soon. Tami and Ed started a food pantry at their church. They still volunteer there when they can but the food they receive from the Food Bank is what helps them put food on the table these days.
That’s why your support is so important. Together we can feed the children in our community.
- Almost 1 in 6 children in Contra Costa and Solano counties live below the federal poverty level ($23,050 per year for a family of four in 2012). (US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2011)
- In July 2011, 17% and 12% of the low-income children in Contra Costa and Solano counties who participated in free or reduced-price school meal programs during the academic year were served by summer meal programs. (California Food Policy Advocates)
- 1 in 3 of the students eligible for free and reduce price school meals in Contra Costa and Solano counties are not participating in the program. (California Food Policy Advocates)
Read stories below about families who have received assistance through programs and services of the Food Bank. Real names are not used.
- One student is a diabetic. The School Pantry Program was especially good for her because she got to choose only what she can eat. She took brown rice, canned fruit in juice, canned vegetables, and other nutritious food that are low in sugar.
- One child said thanks for dinner. The site coordinator didn’t know what he meant and asked what he had. He had pears and potatoes for dinner because that is what they got from Farm 2 Kids.
- A middle school boy comes in from football practice and eats 6-7 apples in one sitting. Many kids eat snack like that because they haven’t eaten much the night before.
- A family that came to the site coordinator during their Thursday produce distribution saying that they had little to no food in their house and weren’t getting paid until the following Monday. They said the produce from Farm 2 Kids got them through the weekend.
Melissa is a single mom who works full-time. With the high cost of living, she tells us she would not be able to feed her family without the help she gets from the Food Bank. The food she does buy, she gets solely from the dollar store. She can’t remember the last time she went to a regular grocery store. And meat? Forget about it. That’s a luxury she just can’t afford right now.
How Can I Help?
Through special deals and bulk purchasing, we are able to multiply the value of each dollar you give. Donate online at www.foodbankccs.org/donate or call 855.309.FOOD
Drop off nonperishable food items at one of the Food Bank warehouses or in collection barrels around town. Find a barrel at www.foodbankccs.org/ongoingdrives.