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Vermont Gets Kudos For Dishing Out Summer Food To Kids

During the summer, many students who have been receiving free lunches may  go hungry. But despite a tough economy, Vermont has been finding new ways to feed them. A report released Wednesday by the Food Research and Action Center places Vermont fifth in the nation for providing food for children who need it after the school year is over.

According to the report, summer meals reached one in four of the low-income kids who qualified for free or reduced-cost lunches during the school year. Hunger Free Vermont, a non-profit organization that works with state agencies and groups to combat hunger and malnutrition, says many summer meal sites have had to shorten their season by a few days. But the state has also increased the number of sites by nearly 10 percent. For example, more senior centers are opening their doors to children and providing meals and activities, and library programs are adding meals to connect children with good nutrition and summer reading.

While Vermont continues to make summer meals more accessible, advocates say not all families are aware of what’s available to them. There are three kickoff events this month to bring attention to meal programs: 

  • On June 19, there’s a block party at Gardner Park in Newport from 3:00-7:00 PM.
  • On June 20, the Milton School will host a carnival and barbeque beginning at 11:00 AM.
  • On June 21 United Way will sponsor a lunchtime picnic on the Green Street School lawn in Brattleboro.
Charlotte Albright lives in Lyndonville and currently works in the Office of Communication at Dartmouth College. She was a VPR reporter from 2012 - 2015, covering the Upper Valley and the Northeast Kingdom. Prior to that she freelanced for VPR for several years.
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