Summer meal programs in Southwest, Central Virginia help combat child hunger

Pulaski County, Roanoke and Lynchburg are all distributing two free meals a day

How schools are ensuring that students still get a good meal during summer break

The end of the school year means the start of summer, free time, swimming and more.

But for some parents, the end of school can bring stress and worry.

Food insecurity is a problem that many families face, especially during the summer months.

Schools provide students two free or low-cost meals a day, which is sometimes the only food these children have access to.

Across Southwest Virginia, schools are starting up their annual summer meal programs in order to combat child hunger.

“It is very crucial to families and to those children who rely on school meals during that 180-day academic year,” said Beth Morris, nutrition director for Lynchburg City Schools.

With inflation causing prices to rise across the country, food insecurity is a bigger problem than ever. That means that these free programs are more needed than ever.

“It’s been truly embraced by the community,” Morris said.

Lynchburg is not the only school system running the summer meals program. Other programs are being run in Pulaski County and Roanoke City.

Randolph Park Summer Camp makes full use of the summer meal program.

“After we eat lunch a lot of kids are more energized and I feel like they want to do more things after they have a full stomach,” said Blaine Reedy, Randolph Park summer camp counselor.

About the Author:

Abbie is a multimedia journalist finishing up her senior year at Virginia Tech. You can watch her report on weekday evenings.