VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – School out for the summer raises concerns for many children as to where their next meal will come from.
Summer lunch programs that aim to help are now in full swing.
School is not in session but still numerous students’ line up in the cafeteria at Sarah Scott Middle School ready for lunch.
“We offer a lunch and breakfast to any student four days a week this week and the next two weeks coming up,” said Tom Lentes, the Food Service Coordinator for Vigo County Schools.
They feed well over 200 children for breakfast and nearly 400 during lunch; it’s a staggering number that continues to rise.
“We’ve seen our free and reduced lunch number increase anywhere from 1% or 2% over the past year for the past four years that I’ve been here. There’s definitely more need every year for this kind of a program,” said Lentes.
It’s just one way the school corporation is fighting back against hunger.
“It’s supposed to be only one meal but we know with our students that some of them are just plain hungry, and we will provide another meal or give them another sandwich,” said Lentes.
Local organizations want families to know when the three week program ends there are other options available.
“Anytime the school stops serving for any reason we see a spike,” said Jim Edwards, Director of Ryves Youth Center.
Ryves Hall and the Bethany House serve meals seven days a week.
“In the past couple of years we’ve increased and actually now have a Backpack Program like the school corporation does, so we’re seeing a lot of children coming in daily that are just very very hungry,” said Edwards.
Stepping in where they see a gap.
“They come to us very hungry so the first thing we can do is sit down with them with a full meal and let them eat until they are no longer hungry,” said Edwards.
For more information on meal programs and how you can help, click the link below.