How Will You Help Your Neighbors This Summer?

How Will You Help Your Neighbors This Summer?
Meredith Knopp

It’s the most wonderful time of the year if you are a student – summer vacation! A time to spend with friends, sleep in a little later, enjoy adventures and exploring (whether it’s in your own neighborhood, a local park, or a family getaway) and a time to make memories that will last a lifetime. Laughter should be louder than the school bells and kids should enjoy, well, just being a kid.

This is the dream of every child – and every parent. Having the ability to provide for your children so they can enjoy their childhood before all the pressures of being an adult; like having a job, paying the bills, and for many adults, no longer having summers off take over. Unfortunately, this summer, far too many families are wondering how they will make this dream a reality.

Our economy is still unstable, and prices at the grocery store are 20% higher than just 2 years ago. This is putting a strain on everyone’s budget – but hurts families on fixed incomes, or lower incomes much more. Research shows that families spend an average of $300 more a month on food during the summer, providing meals for school-aged children that would otherwise receive support through their school. Hearing stories of parents skipping meals so children can eat, or even worse, children not being able to eat, which hinders their growth and development, and contributes to the “summer slide” is simply unacceptable.

We are grateful for so many partners that are stepping up this summer to help us in our efforts to close this meal gap. Like our friends and Prairie Farms, who donated 3,000 quarts of milk to the Foodbank on June 1st in honor of their 85th anniversary, and National Dairy Month. Our friends at Citi who will host a meal packing event with employees and their families on June 14th with a goal of providing 65,000 meals to the St Louis Area Foodbank. These are just two examples of how local businesses in the bi-state region are stepping up to support our neighbors this summer – my question to you is how will YOU help your neighbors this summer?

From making a financial donation to the Foodbank to help us purchase the most critical items families need (protein, produce, and dairy) to hosting a food drive with your business, sports club, neighborhood or church, to signing up to volunteer with us in Bridgeton, there is a way for everyone to get involved.

Together, we can help ensure kiddos living across the bi-state region are able to spend and enjoy their summers as they should be – laughing, playing, making memories – and just being kids – living their best possible lives.

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