Providing needy kids summer meals

With the school year winding down, many parents are thinking about how to keep their children active this summer.

But for the thousands of metro Atlanta parents whose kids qualify for free school lunches, a much harder question looms: How will they keep their children fed?

In Georgia, more than 1 in 4 or 28.8 percent of children live in food “insecure” households, said Pam Tatum, president and CEO of Quality Care for Children, a nonprofit that works to ensure that children are nurtured and educated.

When school and the subsidized lunches that come with it end, so, too, do reliable meals for many children, Tatum said.

Tatum said that studies show that children who don’t get enough to eat don’t learn as much as fast or as well as their peers and that the long-term impact on their health and brain development lingers in adulthood.

And so this summer marks the third that Quality Care for Children has been standing in the gap, providing food to nearly 1,100 children at 20 sites across metro Atlanta during the summer months. The free meals are made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, area child care programs, Open Hand, which prepares the meals, and local chefs who will visit sites to talk about nutrition.

In addition to the QCC program, United Way of Greater Atlanta recently launched its first ever crowdfunding campaign to help provide meals to children this summer, said Milton Little Jr., president and CEO of the nonprofit.

For more information on where you can find programs for your children, click here: