KUOW reports on new findings from the Food Research and Action Center showing there are fewer summer meal programs available for low-income children while the need is rising. In Washington state there are 700 schools, parks and community centers that serve sack lunches — that's 23 fewer than last summer.
Linda Stone, senior food policy coordinator at the Children's Alliance, says: "Increasingly, school districts don't have the resources to offer summer schools or any kind of enrichment or recreation programs in the summertime. Not only do kids not have access to those recreation and education resources, but they don't have access to any meals during the summertime."
Stone says during the school year, most low-income children can sign up for free breakfast and lunch. Those meals are provided at school. But when school's out, kids have fewer meal options. The problem isn't funding for the food — that comes from the USDA. Stone says it's a staffing issue — the recession has forced local partners like schools and parks that serve the sack lunches to cut back.