The beginning of summer may mean a break from homework and studying, but for many students, it can also mark the beginning of a long stretch without daily, school-provided meals. StateImpact Ohio's Amy Hansen talked with one of the state's biggest organizations working to combat summer hunger.
Ohio has added more than 100 new sites this year to its federally funded summer meals program for kids, bringing the total to about 1700 statewide.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, the executive director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks, says offering kids a chance to eat a nutritious meal when school's out is a lifesaver for low income families.
HAMLER-FUGITT: "It's a lifesaver for low income families. Communities know that childhood hunger is a significant problem for low-income families and their children, and it provides an opportunity to meet the most basic of all human needs, food."
Out of more than 633,000 Ohio's students who received free or reduced-price meals every day while in school last year, only around 10 percent participated in the daily summer meal program. That's according to a report released by the Food Research and Action Center.
Hamler-Fugitt hopes the addition of both extra staff members and new food sites across the state will increase participation this summer.
For StateImpact Ohio, I'm Amy Hansen.