WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — School is officially out for the summer, but for some families that means they do not know where their next meal is coming from.
It is a growing problem school summer meal programs across the Cape Fear aim to help, and one organizations like Nourish NC are working on to make sure kids do not go hungry.
“Either they lost their job or they’re a single parent,” Nourish NC Program Director, Kelli Furr said. “You know, it’s all different types of demographics, all different kinds of stories.”
Nourish NC says one in four children in New Hanover County struggle with hunger. For some, putting food on the table can be tough during summer break.
“So this summer, every child in our program will receive two break boxes,” Nourish NC Executive Director, Steven McCrossan said. “Which is three meals a day. Milk, juice, snacks, and produce for the entire break.”
The non-profit is feeding nearly 800 kids in 36 schools across New Hanover County. They say it is a sad reality they continue to fight on a daily basis.
“Hunger has such disastrous consequences for children,” McCrossan said. “It negatively affects the way they learn, the way they play, the way they socialize. And so by providing them with access to nutritious food we know that they can do better in school. They’re more likely to be well behaved. And really be strong members of our community.”
It is a problem that hits close to home for both McCrossan and Furr.
“Well I grew up in a food insecure home with a singe mom who did the best she could to provide for myself and my brother. And it was later in life I realized she was skipping meals so I could eat,” McCrossan said.
“I mean I remember going to the grocery store and being like I want this fruit rollup or I want that,” Furr said. “And my mom now has told me that she had $80 a week to budget for our food. There were times that it wasn’t 80 it was 40.”
From backpack programs to feed children on the weekends, to their break boxes that feed kids throughout the summer, it is just another step in their fight against child hunger.
For a full list of county school summer meal programs and hours see below:
New Hanover County Schools, click here.
Brunswick County Schools, click here.
Pender County Schools, click here.
Bladen County Schools, click here.
Columbus County Schools, click here.