VIRGINIA (WDVM) — With school out for the summer, some families may be wondering where their child’s next meal is coming from.
According to the Food Research & Action Center, six of seven children struggle with food insecurity during the summer months, particularly those who receive free or reduced meals during the school year.
But thanks to No Kid Hungry Virginia, finding a meal can be as easy as texting the word ‘food’ or ‘comida’ to 877-877.
Families can then enter a zip code and find the nearest pick up location bring their kids to a pick up site and receive a nutritionally balanced school lunch for anyone under the age of 18.
Advocates say it’s not just about the immediate physical feeling of hunger that impacts food insecure children during the summer.
“Food insecure students start school in the fall behind their more affluent peers who had access to that quality nutrition, to those educational resources over the summer time and that has a cumulative effect,” said Sarah Steeley of No Kid Hungry Virginia.
The program does not require any form of identification or any applications to receive free meals. Many distribution sites also include other enrichment programs, such as the location run by People, Inc. in Woodstock, Va. at the Valley Vista apartment complex.
There, kids can play games, read books, and even swim in the facility’s pool, while making sure they’re getting the balanced nutrition they need.
To find your nearest distribution location, text the word ‘food’ or ‘comida’ to 877-877.