As the end of the school year draws near, many parents are starting to feel anxious. The school lunch programs they relied on to help feed their children for the last nine months, soon will take a break. “More and more families turn to our food pantries during those summer months,” says Nickie Daneke, LMSW, Director of Stabilization Programs. “While we try to keep up with the demand, that’s usually when our shelves are growing empty due to a decrease in donations.”
To help ease the burden on families and the pantries, Catholic Charities offers a Kids Summer Food Program in partnership with Harvesters, the US Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Department of Education. Last year, 8,642 healthy sack lunches were served to hungry children and nearly 1,200 to their parents or adult caregiver. Parish and community volunteers are instrumental to the program’s success. Fr. Daniel Schmitz, pastor of three parishes in Frankfurt, Kansas, participated in the Kids Summer Food program for the first time last summer. “It’s one of the most concrete ways a parish can feed the hungry and fulfill Christ’s command,” he adds.
Need more information? Find out where our 29 regional sites are located and more specifics on our Kids Summer Food Program page.
Interested in volunteering to help with our Kids Summer Food Program? Please find out more on how you can help on our Volunteer page.