Summertime has finally arrived which means kids are home from school, sunny days are here to stay, and summer activities are in full swing! However, as the school year finishes, so does the access to reliable meals that so many kids and families within Washington state depend on. One in three households with children in Washington state is experiencing hunger and for these families, summer vacation is anything but a joyous occasion. In fact, the consequences of summer hunger have profound, long-term consequences. Kids who struggle with hunger are more likely to experience “summer slide”, forgetting what they learned and starting the next school year months behind their more affluent peers.
Rooting out summer hunger won’t be easy, but it can be done with the help of unified community members and forward-thinking ideas, much like what we see happening in the community of Arlington. The Arlington Community Food Bank recently purchased what they are calling their “Mobile Market.” They will be working alongside The City of Arlington, Arlington Police Dept., & Arlington School District to determine areas in need and communities like low-income housing neighborhoods and Senior Living Communities, with limited mobility to provide services to those unable to drive to The Market at the food bank.
As they prepare to launch the Mobile Market, Carla Rankin, Executive Director of the Arlington Community Food Bank, says she’s looking forward to the impact the program will have. “Think of an ice cream truck but instead of ice cream, there will be fresh produce! It is really going to be a game changer for so many in our community, and we hope to inspire other food banks to meet folks where they are and come up with innovative ideas to serve communities going forward.”
Learn how you can Root Out Summer Hunger here!