June 28, 2016, Since 2010 food insecurity has increased in Louisiana by five percent leaving nearly 1 in 5 Louisiana’s struggling to put food on the table throughout the year. This struggle is particularly acute for families during the summer months.
When school is out for the summer students are not able to get free or reduced price breakfast and lunch at schools. The Food Research and Action Center recently released “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation” which ranks Louisiana as the 45th worst state for access to summer meals for students who rely on school breakfast and lunch during the school year. Only 8.9% of students who receive meals during the school year getting free summer meals.
Louisiana’s Families already struggling to make ends meet find summer to be a difficult time. When they need help Louisiana’s Food Banks step up to meet the need. Unfortunately for food banks this increased demand usually comes at a time when donations are at a low. This strains food banks, pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens across the state at a time when donations are at their lowest.
Food Banks across Louisiana partner with local community programs to offer summer meals to children at risk of hunger, but more must be done. Students who struggle with hunger throughout the summer are at increased risk for returning to school and falling behind their peers. Working together with community partners food banks rely on support of generous donors and volunteers to help bridge the summer meal gap and fight hunger across Louisiana.