Hunger Coalition working to address summer hunger in Southeastern San Diego

San Diego Hunger Coalition is pleased to announce it was awarded a No Kid Hungry “Out of School Time” grant from Share our Strength in partnership with the Arby’s Foundation. These funds will be used to increase access to summer meal sites in Southeastern San Diego. The Hunger Coalition will partner with San Diego Unified School District (which provides the meals), the site operators (such as Malcolm X Public Library and Willie Henderson Sports Complex), and local community leaders, organizations and faith-based institutions to get the word out.  Diane Moss, local community leader and Executive Director of Project New Village, has agreed to be an advisor on the project. 

 Photo courtesy USDAag

Photo courtesy USDAag

“When school is out, many kids are going hungry and eating unhealthy food. San Diego Unified School District sponsors 68 sites that we call Summer Fun Cafés that provide a free lunch to any person 18 years and younger. Unfortunately participation at some of the sites is very low. It is great to have a partner like the San Diego Hunger Coalition to join us in the fight to end summer hunger,” says Torin Childress, San Diego Unified School District’s Breakfast in the Classroom / Summer Fun Café Specialist.

This pilot will also build upon our research published last year, “Help Them Eat at Home: Why the Federal Summer Meals Program for Kids has Chronically Low Participation and What Can Be Done about It.” In addition to promoting the sites, we will conduct parent focus groups, engage leaders in the region to learn more about barriers to participation, and will share our findings with other anti-hunger advocates through the Summer Meals Task Force and other advocate venues.

“Our goal is to take what we learn through this project and create a model that can be scaled and implemented throughout the county,” states Melanie Petersen, Hunger Coalition Senior Program Manager for School Meals.