Hunger-fighting groups and agencies in Kentucky are making progress as they work to ensure children in the state have access to healthy, nutritious food during the summer months. A report released today (Wednesday) from Food Research & Action Center shows a 14-percent increase in lunches served in Summer Nutrition Programs in Kentucky in 2017 compared to 2016. Kate McDonald with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks’ K-Y Kids Eat campaign explains while Kentucky still ranks 46th among states and D-C for summer nutrition program participation, things are looking up.
She notes the Commonwealth’s growth is not duplicated nationally, with 14 thousand fewer children across the country served summer lunch in July 2017 than in July 2016.
Free summer meals are available to all children ages 18 and under in Kentucky and McDonald says innovative ideas are helping to ensure more kids can be served.
She notes summer meals help fill the gap for those children who rely on free school breakfast and lunch, while also offering educational and social activities.
The report shows that still just one-in-12 Kentucky kids who eat free lunch during the school year have access to a free summer meal.