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The situation is especially critical in rural counties where children in need live far from any feeding site.
We do not minimize the dedication of the many organizations and Puma Heart Basket Size 3 individuals who are working to get food to those who need it, not only in the summer program but throughout the year. They have earned out heartfelt thanks.
in need, though that number probably is small.
The meals are given out on a no questions asked basis, which means some recipients Puma Ignite Basketball
"She was talking about how having that ability to get her kids lunch helps take a little bit of that pressure off during the summer.
In Buncombe County, meals are provided at 18 sites by the county school system and three more by the Asheville city school system. The money comes from USDA through the state. Various organizations sponsor individual sites and labor is provided by volunteers.
Joanna Nunez, 3, Arlene Nunez, 8, and their mom, Maricela Nunez, eat lunch on the playground at the Lone Oak Trailer Park in Candler. Department of Agriculture, and the department hopes to reach 5 million children this year.
Food insecurity has always been with us, but the problem grew sharply with the Great Recession and the not so great recovery. Buncombe County has more than 20,600 households receiving food assistance today, compared to fewer than 7,200 in 2004, according to Phillip Hardin, economic services director for Buncombe County Health and Human Services.
Hundreds of children receive lunch each day, but that doesn't mean the program is reaching all those in need. Of the 38,158 people receiving food assistance in Buncombe, 14,224 are children. Puma Creepers Rihanna Suede
"It's awesome," said Jennifer Allen, who lives in Lone Oak Trailer Park, a feeding site. "It helps with providing food, and it's easier for us." Without the program, Allen said, lunch for her four children "would probably be just whatever I could scrounge up, peanut butter and jelly or a cup of soup."
The saddest thing is that for every family helped, there are many families going without assistance. Nationally, the summer lunch program reaches only a fraction of the 16 million children who live in families that struggle to provide sufficient food. The same is true for the 14,224 children in Buncombe.
The depth of the problem is clearly visible at the feeding sites. Volunteers see older children bringing their younger siblings and grandparents bringing grandchildren for whom they care. Families may differ, but need doesn't.
Some families in need may not know of the program, despite an extensive publicity campaign. Some may not be able to reach a feeding site. Some, particularly here in the mountains, may be too proud to take what they consider a handout.
"One of the parents that we talked to talked about how in the summer her food bill really goes up substantially, but she's on food stamps and obviously her food stamps don't increase," said Greg Borom, director of advocacy for Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County.
"The children who are qualifying for free or reduced lunch during the school year are qualifying because they live in houses that are struggling financially where food is an issue, where many of those families are on food stamps."
Manning the ramparts against summer hunger
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