IMPACT

'Hunger Doesn't Take A Spring Break': Food Banks Bring Meals To Needy Kids When School's Out

03/25/2015 10:31 am ET | Updated Sep 17, 2015

Updated on March 25, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Spring break is rarely a picnic for low-income kids.

While most children count down the days to vacation, students who live in poor households anxiously count the numbers of meals they’ll miss when they can’t get access to free meals at school.

To make sure the only issue underserved children have to only worry about is how they’ll spend their time off, a number of nonprofits are finding innovative ways to bring meals to children

“During spring break, that's 10 missed meals if they are getting breakfast and lunch at school, so it's really important for us to get out here," Brenda O'Brian of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, told News on 6.

Across the country, 21 million students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch at school, according to Feeding America.

To continue feeding those kids during vacation, nonprofits, like the Community Food Bank, started putting nourishment systems in place as schools prepared to shut down.

That Oklahoma group is packing up its mobile food truck and parking it at a local community center so that kids can get a hot meal. Children under 18 get first priority and any leftovers can then go to adults, according to News on 6.

But the situation is even more difficult for students who attend schools that close for two weeks, which is going to be the case in Franklin, Indiana.

There, Gleaners Food Bank is sending out 200 packages to low-income kids packed with 20 pounds of food each, Ross Fraser, Feeding America’s director of media relations, told HuffPost in an email.

While aid groups have long focused on finding hunger solutions during the summer months, a number of organizations are ramping up their efforts to also help support kids when school takes a hiatus in the spring.

Curbing Hunger, a New Jersey-based group, recently debuted its “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Spring Break” campaign.

Through its partnership with Amp Your Good, the campaign is running three separate online food drives that provide goods for local food banks.

The campaign varies from the standard collection service in that the crowdfunding model allows donors to allocate funds for specific food items that organizations need. For example, $14.50 buys 10 pounds of oranges.

“Due to our food delivery methodology, food drives on our site are able to raise fresh produce and other healthy foods enabling them to have more positive impact,” Patrick O'Neill, CEO of Amp Your Good, told HuffPost in an email. “Our vision is to turn the billions of canned goods donated each year to food drives into billions of apples, oranges, sweet potatoes and other healthy food items."

Find out more about Feeding America and how you can get involved here. Learn more about Hunger Doesn't Take a Spring Break here.

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