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Despite Summer Meal Programs, U.S. Children Still Going Hungry

Submitted by on August 24, 2010 – 4:01 pm

According to AOL News, there are 16 million children who receive subsidized school meals who are not covered during the summer. Despite efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local food banks, and other private organizations, many children still go hungry during the summertime months.

Federal funding is in place for summer meal programs, but there are several challenges facing people running the programs. First, many of the programs distribute the meals at local parks, but these parks can also be home to gangs and drug dealers. Programs have attempted to make families feel safer by partnering with local police during food distribution times.

Second, some of the meals distributed do not end up going to the children. Children go in and pick up the meal, but then they either sell it or give it away to someone else. In order to combat this misuse of the system, most programs require that the child stay at the distribution site to eat their meal.

Third, there is not an overall program across the country distributing these meals. Instead, the federal government puts money towards a mish-mash of local organizations with different procedures, making it difficult to track where all the money is going, how it is being used, and how many children are benefiting from the program.

Go to http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/usda-to-try-new-summer-system-for-feeding-poor-students/19598805 to read more about summer meal programs and learn about a new program that the U.S. Department of Agriculture might be putting into place.

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