BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One in five children in Maryland are unsure of where their next meal is coming from, according to the Maryland Food Bank.
And, as Mike Schuh reports, these summer months can be a challenge for families whose kids get free meals at school in the fall, winter and spring.
According to Food Bank statistics, only 3 million kids have access to free meals during the summer, compared with 21 million during the school year.
At 40 sites across the state, like at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in West Baltimore, some of those kids are getting the help they need.
Wendy Chavis runs the club, and says her kids tend to show up hungry, asking what’s for breakfast.
When Mike Schuh visited, Maryland Food Bank executive chef Manny Robinson, who will prepare 180,000 meals at the Charles T. Bauer Community Kitchen in Baltimore before the summer is through, arrived bearing the gift of a balanced lunch — a hot cheeseburger, corn on the cob, milk and an orange.
Destiny, a 7th grader who wants to be a lawyer or a veterinarian, said her favorite things on the menu are the meatball sub and the cauliflower.
And kids like her will have access to healthy options like those until they go back to school later this month.
The Maryland Food Bank “Summer Clubs,” are held at or near schools with 50 percent or more participation in the free and reduced-price meal program to target the most “food-insecure” communities.
Between meals, kids do arts and crafts, sports and other activities.