Des Moines, Iowa – About nine in every ten Iowa children who are eligible for free meals during the summer break aren’t eating those meals. Stephanie Dross (rhymes with CROSS), a consultant for the Iowa Department of Education, says community groups offer summer meal sites all across the state, but for several reasons, tens of thousands of children don’t take part.
According to Dross, since school buses aren’t picking kids up for class during the summer months, many of those children can’t get a ride to get a meal.
Still, some areas -are- able to access buses that bring the kids in. Some locations are also able to offer activities for the students in addition to the meals, which helps to boost attendance.
Another option is setting up serving sites at farmers markets, in addition to making connections with medical facilities. For more information and to find locations for meal sites in your part of Iowa, call the Hunger Hotline at 866-3-HUNGRY, or text the word “food” to 877-877.