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Summer Lunch Programs Fight NWA Child Hunger

School is nearly out for summer, and that means many children who depend on the districts for lunch, won't have that option, but help is available.
Fayetteville, AR - School is nearly out for summer, and that means many children who depend on the districts for lunch, won't have that option, but help is available.

Just over 40 percent of Fayetteville Public School students qualify for free or reduced lunch, but Summer break doesn't mean there are fewer mouths to feed.

"Hunger is a really tricky issue because it is so easy to miss," says Lucy Kagan Field Manager for Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. "It's really easy to not see kids who are hungry."

Kagan says one in four children in Northwest Arkansas are food insecure, meaning more than 31,000 kids here aren't sure where their next meal will come from.

"In such an affluent area, we find that pretty unacceptable," Kagan says. "It's something we're working very closely with other organizations in the area to help prevent."

The AHRA wants families to know there are plenty of places kids can find a wholesome meal. Churches, apartment complexes and even some schools are all offering free summer meals.

"There are over 100, maybe even more than that at this point, feeding sites all over Northwest Arkansas," Kagan says. "No matter where you live in Washington and Benton County, you should be able to access a feeding site within a couple of miles of where you live."

Fayetteville's seamless summer lunches will be served at Holt Middle School starting June 11th, through August 1st. The district will offer free meals to kids up to 18 years old, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For information on other feeding sites, call 1- 866-3HUNGER or visit this site.

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