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Summer food program offers meals for children during pandemic

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, now more than ever is a time when kids need extra meals during the summer when school is out.

The Northeast Iowa Food Bank's summer feeding program is getting help from eastern Iowa communities to assist children at risk of going hungry.

Along with COVID-19, hunger is also part of a pandemic that continues to affect families, especially kids. Northeast Iowa Food Bank's Executive Director Barbara Prather said child hunger is at its peak during summer.

"In the summer when school is out of session kids don't have access to school lunches," Prather said.

Prather said it was those trends that created the summer food program, to offer aid to those families and provide meals to various sites.

With the threats of a pandemic, Prather said the recent numbers show an increase in demand for food security.

"The numbers that we're seeing through all of our programs, not just our feeding programs, our snack feeding programs has gone up," Prather said, "In some areas, up to forty five percent."

The program offers kids free lunch and snacks at designated locations.
Partnered with the Waterloo YMCA, CEO Angie Widner expressed the impact it has had on the community, and that this program is more crucial now than ever.

"We have to continue to respond for families and kids in our community. That includes offering childcare, but also ensuring that within in that care there are other supports, and food is a primary one," Widner said.

Before the kids can get their food, they're asked to get their temperature taken, disinfect their shoes, and sanitize their hands to maintain health safety.

The last day to pick up a meal or snack is August 21st.

For more information on the program, click here.

Meal sites:

Bethel United Presbyterian Church: 208 N Vine St. (West Union)June 1 – Aug 1411:30AM-12:30PM
Fayette Elementary: 200 Volga St. Fayette (Fayette)June 1 – Aug 1411:30AM-12:30PM
Valley Elementary Learning Center: 23493 Canoe Rd (Elgin)June 8 – Aug 1411:30AM-12:30PM
St. Joseph Community School: 216 N. Broadway Ave. (New Hampton)June 1 – Aug 217:00AM, 11:00AM, 3:00PM
YMCA: 669 S Hackett Rd. (Waterloo)May 18 – Aug 148:30AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM

Afternoon snack sites at Boys & Girls clubs:

Snack SitesDatesTimes
Boys and Girls Club: 515 Lime St. (Waterloo)May 18 – Aug 143:30PM
Boys and Girls Club – Teen & Education Center: 803 E. 4th St. (Waterloo)May 18 – Aug 143:30PM
Evansdale Boys and Girls Club: 3574 Lafayette St. (Evansdale)May 18 – Aug 143:30PM
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Alaina Kwan

Morning Reporter

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