(NBC News) – Vicki Vansickle has more than 100 volunteers at Columbia Presbyterian Church in Columbia, Pennsylvania, making sure every child in this town has nutritious lunches during the summer.
“That’s risk of kids not having a meal, a meal a day,” Vansickle says, “and we do see kids that we know that that’s true.”
More than half the kids in Columbia get free or reduced lunches during the school year. That makes Columbia a “Low Income Zone” where every child 18 and under is eligible for free summer lunches, too.
However, only about one in six who qualify are getting these summer meals. Part of the problem is transportation, no yellow buses when school’s out to get kids to their free lunch, and many community groups have no idea they can get reimbursed for doing this.
The government is trying to get the word out, targeting parts of the country where few programs exist.
The law that governs this program is the “Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.” it expires September 30th. There are a number of proposals being kicked around on Capitol Hill to change the law so more kids can get those summer meals.
To see if there is a summer meal program near you go to this website: http://1.usa.gov/1J4mFnz