Skip to main navigation

Catalogue Blog

Summer Hunger

Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

“Summertime, and the living is easy.” But not for everyone. For many children across the country, summer is a time when free or reduced school meals stop and kids struggle to maintain consistent nourishment. According to Share Our Strength, although more than 21 million US students receive free or reduced lunches at school, only 3 million kids receive free meals during the summer. National organizations like Share Our Strength, which is committed to eradicating childhood hunger in America, and Feeding America, a national food bank network, coordinate programs across the country to mitigate child hunger and provide summer meals.

Nationwide, DC stands out in terms of the services that it provides to low-income students during summer vacation. The Washington Post published an article this week, detailing programs offered by several District offices that address both the lack of affordable meals and educational programming that many students face in the summer. The DC Public Library, DDC Hunger Solutions, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) have teamed up to “sponsor free meals at 11 public libraries this summer to encourage reading.” Thanks to programs like these, the Food and Research Action Center (FRAC) “ranks the District as the top jurisdiction in the country for serving summer meals to low income children, with the city reaching 73.5 percent of those eligible for such meals.”

Several Catalogue for Philanthropy nonprofits are also part of the movement, providing additional services to students over the summer. One such organization is a new 2012-13 Catalogue nonprofit, Horizons Greater Washington, which focuses on “mitigating the summer decline in students’ academic achievement” by offering summer programs to boost interest in learning and improve children’s scholastic achievement during the entire year. Higher Achievement’s programming includes a Summer Academy for students to keep up their coursework; and Horton’s Kids “provides literacy programming to prevent the ‘summer slide’ and to prepare children for the coming school year.”

Does your nonprofit or foundation support additional summer programming for kids to provide for their nutritional and/or educational needs? Share your comments and experiences with us!