Summer Is Here!

Summer is Here!
Meredith Knopp

Summer is here – which means sunshine, longer days to enjoy the outdoors, and time to catch up with family and friends. It can also be a time of incredible stress and uncertainty if you are struggling with food insecurity.

Someone recently asked me, how can I understand, more simply, what it means to be food insecure? This is a great question, because many of us know the “academic” or “official” answer provided by the USDA, however, more simply put – it’s when people don’t have enough to eat and don’t know where their next meal will come from.

We shared the results of the most recent Map the Meal Gap study, conducted by Feeding America, and the statistics were sobering. Within the bi-state area, 1 in 7 adults, and as many as 1 in 6 children face food insecurity. When kiddos are out of school, they no longer receive the meals provided by schools during the school year, which means an added financial responsibility for far too many families in our region. That is when stress and uncertainty can kick in for families.

This summer, the State of Missouri is looking to join Illinois and others states by participating in the SuN (Summer Nutrition) Bucks program. SuN Bucks is a new program to help families buy food for their school-aged children during the summer months of June, July, and August. Families will get a one-time $120 benefit per qualifying child loaded onto an EBT card. These funds can be used to buy nutritious foods at authorized locations. While this program will absolutely help, it will not “solve” the problem. Most students are away from school approximately 90 days, which equates to $1.33 per day with this program.

So the question now is, what can you do, and how can you help us help keep kids nourished this summer, so everyone has a chance to relax and recharge a bit?

1. Make a donation to the St. Louis Area Foodbank. We are working to continue to support kiddos and their families with food and hope across many districts in our area. Did you know that for as little as $25 you can help support a family for one week? Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at:

2. Organize a food drive. During your family reunions or summer get-togethers (or even birthday parties) encourage your family and friends to bring non-perishable items that you can donate to the Foodbank. We can even help provide collection bins if you love a challenge and want to get your business involved. You can learn more about how easy this is, and find a list of our most needed items here:

With your help and support, together we can ensure that every child across the bi-state area has the healthy and nutritious foods they need to not only survive, but thrive this summer. Let’s ensure the only “summer slide” our kiddos know this summer are the slides at the park, community centers, or pools in their neighborhoods!


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