Feeding Youth

LOW-INCOME students benefit from federally-funded food programs at many schools in Ohio. Many Eastern Ohio schools are participants in those programs, which provide free breakfast and/or lunches to children from low-income households.

Often times those meals are the only healthy food such students will have all day. The programs are a nutritional lifeline to countless youths.

Unfortunately, those meals dry up for many students over the summer months. While the need remains, the resources for those meals are often not there.

State education officials are attempting to change that. We hope their efforts find receptive ears and deep pockets.

The Ohio Department of Education notes that the Summer Food Service program provided meals for an average of nearly 60,000 Buckeye State students per day last summer. While that number is impressive, it is not enough to feed all those who need it.

Much to its credit, the state department of education is making an effort to rectify the shortcomings. It is challenging more sponsors and businesses to step to the plate and supply much-need food, supplies and money to feed more in-need students.

We support the efforts of the state officials to provide a more healthy summer lifestyle for students who need assistance.

Non-profit organizations and schools qualify for the food program if half of the children in their area are eligible for free and reduced prices school meals.

The summer meals program fills in a three-month gap that would otherwise see thousands of youths be nutritionally shortchanged, and in the process, suffer the negative results.

More than 190 sponsors served meals at nearly 1,500 locations last summer. We hope a new and large influx of sponsors help set the table for a more productive and healthier vacation for youths in need.