How to help Second Harvest Food Bank’s ‘Food for Kids’ initiative

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From Second Harvest Food Bank:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn, – Summer Food for Kids is a collaborative effort between Second Harvest and an ever-increasing number of public schools and community partners within the food bank’s 18-county service area. The program is designed to provide healthy, easily-prepared food to some of the most vulnerable children in our community—children who may be missing meals on a regular basis. 

The strategy is simple. We know there are thousands of children—whose teachers feel they are at risk of hunger—participating in the regular school year Food for Kids backpack program. We also know that child hunger doesn’t stop when school lets out for summer. 

In addition to simply telling their teachers they are going hungry, many participating kids have been observed hoarding food from the lunchroom, taking food from other children’s trays, and even taking food from trashcans in order to have something to eat after school and over the weekend. Summer Food for Kids provides these children with food on a weekly basis at one of our distribution sites every week during the summer.

Reports of improved self-esteem, behavior, and concentration among Summer Food for Kids participants are common. 

Summer Food for Kids by the Numbers:

16—the current number of counties in which the program operates

70—the current number of participating schools/sites

5,800+—the current number of children benefiting from the program

150+—number of sites that are not yet on board within our 18-county service area 

$25—average cost per child to provide healthy food during the summer

96—number of cents per dollar Second Harvest is able to utilize for program services

$0—the cost to the schools/children receiving Food for Kids

For more information and to learn how to get involved, please contact Sam Compton, Youth Programs Manager, at (865) 243-8221 or 

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