When you think of summer thoughts of time in the sun, fun days at the pool, summer vacations and cold treats come to mind. However, for many of our neighbors, the summer brings an additional stress on already stretched budgets. Why? It is an especially challenging time for parents of children who rely on free and reduced school lunches. Without school being in session, children no longer have access to breakfast and lunch.
In the 11 counties we serve, more than 145,000 children qualify for free and reduced lunches and account for a potential total of 7.2 million missed lunches because the resources available to them during the school year are no longer present. To support youth summer feeding programs, the Food Bank in partnership with KDKA-TV, Giant Eagle and Citizens Bank recently held the annual Feed The Kids Summer Telethon. Donations from the telethon support Food Bank programs to ensure that kids have enough to eat over the summer.
As an organization with a mission of mobilizing the community to end hunger, it was demonstrated in a huge way during the telethon. Neighbors from our area mobilized and donated more than $60,000! Citizens Bank matched all donations up to $40,000. It was a phenomenal night!
I want to express my deep gratitude to you and everyone who called in or donated online. Together, we will ensure that all kids have enough to eat this summer. It’s on their behalf that we say thank you!
Lisa A. Scales
President & CEO