Across the state of Ohio, more than 800,000 students, 44 percent of those enrolled in public schools, eat free or reduced meals at school.
Officials and community groups locally are working now to make sure sites are available to serve kids meals during the summer months. And while Washington County seems to be doing a better job of getting meals to kids, other area communities don't seem as well prepared.
Thousands of meals are given out across Washington County each summer. Local sponsors include:
- Washington-Morgan Community Action
- Miss Peggy's House
- Ely Chapman Center
But the push is on to find more sponsors to operate more locations. We would encourage any nonprofit that works with at-risk families and youth to consider providing meals. Would-be sponsors need only contact the Ohio Department of Education for information. The deadline to become a sponsor is March 1.
Nearby, the counties of Morgan, Noble and Monroe have fewer or no summer food sites. They should have more. Certainly there are agencies already at work in those communities that could also serve as summer feeding locations.
The need for food doesn't end with the school year. In fact, across the state the number of kids receiving free or reduced lunch and breakfast has been steady for the last few years, according to a recent report in the Columbus Dispatch. It shows the need that exists locally today will likely remain for the near future.
Let's make every effort to get food to the kids who need it, all year round.