Feeding programs make a difference

While plenty of students see the beginning of summer as a temporary freedom from the rigors of the academic year, there are too many young people in the Mid-Ohio Valley who know summer means insecurity, a loss of the knowledge that at least for those precious hours five days a week they were sheltered, fed and safe.

Several community organizations have stepped up to try to fill at least one of those gaps, with summer feeding program sites throughout our region.

At least one of the programs is also providing weekend meal packages.

“There is a short application for those,” said David Brightbill, executive director of Washington-Morgan County Community Action. “There are three meals for each day in the weekend pack. They are not hot meals but shelf-stable meals, so they don’t have to be refrigerated.”

Most of us are unable to imagine what a child bears on his or her shoulders when for whatever reason, basic needs like food are not being met at home.

Thank goodness we live in a community where, with the help of larger organizations and some state and federal money, there are people working to try to meet those needs. But they still need help.

“We get reimbursement from the USDA through the Ohio Department of Education, but it barely covers the costs of raw materials,” Brightbill said.

Still, they make it work. And we — and the kids for whom they are making such an enormous difference –are grateful.

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