Summer lunch programs help alleviate childhood hunger

Fox 24

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFTA) — Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) made a stop in Springdale on Wednesday to look at local efforts to fight food insecurity.

During summer, many kids don’t have access to the free or reduced lunches they receive throughout the school year.

The recently introduced Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act would offer children from low-income families free lunches and snacks over the summer.

Boozman, at the forefront of the act, visited Parson Hills Elementary to get a first-hand look at its summer meals program.

“It’s a great program,” said Boozman. “It gives young people something to eat and then also, while they got them here, they send books home with them, things like that. So it accomplishes a lot of different tasks, a very positive thing.”

One school official said the meals provide healthier options than kids might be able to receive at home.

“They might not have access to fresh food at home,” said Gena Smith, child nutrition director for the Springdale School District. “So rather than have a microwaved meal or a bag of chips, we hope they’ll come to their school and have a hot meal.”

There are three summer meal program sites open in Springdale through August 2.

Meals are served from noon until 1 p.m. at Parson Hill Elementary and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at George Elementary and Bayyari Elementary.

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