Schools Provide a Familiar Access Point to More Meals
Cyndy McRae, a family liaison at Bruce F. Vento Elementary school sees firsthand how hunger impacts the students and their families. Bruce F. Vento Elementary provides free breakfasts and lunches to students through national programs and distributes monthly Family Food Boxes through Second Harvest Heartland’s Food + You program.
“I see students trying to take two oranges during lunch so they have something on the weekend,” Cyndy said. “When students come to school Thursday and Friday, you can see a difference in their demeanor because you know they’re concerned about whether or not they’ll be getting three square meals on the weekend - at least at school they know they’ll have food.”
Schools provide a unique point of access to wholesome foods to the one in six hungry children in Minnesota.
“Schools have resources that help break down barriers for families to access the help they need,” said Cyndy, citing interpreters as one of those resources.
Beyond tangible resources, schools are a fixture in the community that children and their families are familiar with.
“Our students and families might know where they can get help, but they can’t or don’t want to ask for it. The Family Food Box distributions have been wildly successful because no one is being singled out, everyone is getting help”
With summer just around the corner, many of the students served at our partner schools and throughout the state will be without access to regular meals. More than 328,500 students in Minnesota rely on free or reduced-priced lunches through the National School Meal Program. When summer arrives, only small percent of these kids continue to have access to regular meals and nutrition during the summer months.
You can help, donate today at 2harvest.org/donate and help fight summer hunger.