Rainy Summer Affects Food Service Programs

DonHomer / Flickr

Record rainfall earlier this summer didn't just mean lush backyards and water-logged basements.

The weather also had an effect on the state's summer food programs.

Roughly one in every 10 of Ohio’s students receive a nutritional meal from one of those programs.

In many of the state’s urban areas, those kids might jump on a bike or walk to one of the 1,500 food sites statewide.

But when it’s raining, that option of heading outdoors isn’t too appealing, said the Ohio Association of Foodbanks’ Joree Novotny.

"Many of the sites are provided in local areas like parks, in low income housing complexes that tend to serve the meals outside on picnic tables or under tents for the kids, and the rain really created a big issue there this summer, one that we are not as familiar with because it was really unseasonable," she said.

Each site uses its own discretion to either cancel or just see lower attendance numbers on rainy days.

And while those overall summer attendance numbers won’t be available for several more months, the association typically sees its turnout dwindle in August, as families get ready for the beginning of a new school year.

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