A national survey suggests Oregon's doing a better-than-average job keeping kids enrolled in food aid programs over the summer months.
Hunger advocates start getting nervous when the weather warms up. It's not easy to keep up with kids who benefit from free and reduced-price lunches. During the summer, their food choices drastically dwindle.
The Food Research and Action Center is a non-profit that advocates on hunger and malnutrition policy. Its new survey on summer meals shows Oregon increased the number of kids maintained in these programs between 2010 and 2011.
But the Center's analyst SigneAnderson says 82 out of 100 Oregon kids who get food aid during the school year are still not getting access to summer meal programs. She says there are a number of possible solutions for that.
"I think one of the answers," Anderson says, "is that even though schools are losing funding for summer school programs, they should still keep their doors open to serve the meals. Because they do receive federal funding to serve meals to children."
Anderson says outreach remains critical, to let families know where food is available over the summer. Nationwide, she adds, older children tend to be underserved.
On the Web
Oregonhunger.org provided the following information to help families find summer programs:
Families can find a site near them at www.SummerFoodOregon.org or by calling 1-800-Safenet.
For more information about Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, go to www.oregonhunger.org