While most children in Mississippi look forward to summer vacation, some are wondering where their next meal will come from. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.
Community leaders are gathering in support of a Summer Food program at Methodist Children's Homes of Mississippi in Jackson. The organization will provide meals twice a day to children in surrounding neighborhoods. Melvin Priester is president of Jackson City Council.
"We have a number of kids who don't have access to food during the summer," said Priester. "That's one of the reasons [Jackson Public Schools] provides free lunches for so many of our students. And so during the summer, we recognize kids need access to healthy nutritious meals. And so Methodist Children's Homes is going to be filling that gap."
Methodist Children's Homes is partnering with Mississippi Food Network. The Food Network is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. There are currently more than 800 feeding sites approved in the state. Any child up to 18-years-old can participate at an approved site.
Trina McNair is a mother and a grandmother. She is also a development coordinator with Methodist Children's Homes. She says this program will bring some relief to parents struggling to provide for their families.
"It's hard especially if you're a single parent...it's hard," said McNair. "So we depend on the community. We depend on DHS, WIC, SNAP... we depend on that. So for those parents who aren't able... and sometimes it runs out, especially during the summertime, it runs out because you're feeding three times, four times a day."
To find a summer feeding site near you text the word "FOOD" to 877-877.