Summer meal programs available for low-income families

By Amanda Stewart,

A summer meal program has been started, in which low-income children may come to Duryea state park in Pennsylvania during their summer break.

So many children have shown up to the event that the site manager, Jess Adametz, thinks she may run out of food. More than 16 children have come each day, according to USA Today.

For some children its the only full meal of the day.

"It's important because you are filling the gap for children and it gets kids out of the house," she says of the booming demand at her site.

Duryea is a working class, former mining, community that is still trying to recover from a horrific flood in 2011. The community is often forgotten.

This is the second year that the Weinburg Northeast Regional Foodbank will feed the children in Duryea. The foodbank has increased its reach, feeding 2,400 children in a three-county area.

"You hear heart-wrenching stories about how scarce food is at home," says Gretchen Hunt, director of Weinberg's nutrition programs. "You'll hear how ramen noodles are all they ate for two days."

Though these programs are available, not only in Pennsylvania, but most other states, many people are not taking advantage of the opportunity. Free lunch and breakfast programs are often passed up, according to Philly.com.

A new report from the Food Research and Action Center says that one in six children in Pennsylvania are in need of reduced/free lunch, but only 18.7 out of every 100 use the program.

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