Through our Child Hunger Initiative, Second Harvest aims to feed children more holistically and create food stability for the entire family. By working with schools and community programs to provide food to families in a variety of ways, we can increase the amount of food and meals families and their children will receive, addressing child hunger. Despite our work, hunger still affects tens of thousands of children and their families as a whole in our region.
Our region’s first Child Hunger Summit was held on September 19, 2019. Nearly 300 people attended from all over Ohio and even neighboring states sharing diverse ideas and demographics. The summit’s goal was to drive awareness of child hunger, develop strategies to address the need and empower participants to act.
Second Harvest aims to provide food to children and their families in a more holistic way to create food security for the entire family through our School Pantry Program model. This program is designed to alleviate child hunger through the provision of food to children, their families, and the immediate school community. School Pantry Programs are located at, or adjacent to school properties and are intended to provide a more readily accessible source of food assistance to low-income students.
When local schools take a break for the summer, sadly, hunger does not take a break. Those children who have relied on school feeding programs during the school year are the most at risk. To address this issue, Second Harvest, along with several of our charity partners, coordinates the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
A program of Feeding America, the mission of the BackPack Program™ is to help alleviate child hunger by addressing the lack of food resources on weekends and holidays for children who are at-risk for hunger by providing backpacks stocked with groceries for families to prepare at home.
Kids Cafe programs provide free meals and snacks to low-income children through a variety of existing community locations where children congregate such as Boys and Girls Clubs, churches or public schools. some Kids Cafe programs also offer a safe place, where under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can get involved in other activities.