TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Backpack Food Program and the Free and Reduced Lunch Program are a few ways children in our community stay fed during the school year.
Yet, during the summer months, keeping children fed can be tough for many families.
"As a parent, I would think that would be a really hard situation to have to tell your child, 'I'm sorry, you don't get dinner tonight,'" said Food Finder's Director of Operations Kim Motuliak.
Motuliak said thanks to Food Finder's Summer Food Service Program, children don't have to go hungry.
The program offers a free lunch for any child from the age of 2 to 18, every day of the summer. Motuliak said the lunches not only follow the USDA meal pattern, they're also kid approved.
"Fun things like applesauce, or nachos, or cheese sticks, they really have a good time with it," said Motuliak.
In 2012, Food Finder's served 23,000 meals in the Summer Food Service Program. This is the fourth year for the program, and every year, Motuliak said the need seems to increase.
"This economy has hit everybody hard," said Motuliak. "So, I think that we've seen two-fold. We've seen the need increase, but also, people are more familiar with our program."
Motuliak said it takes about 35,000 pounds of food to feed the children throughout the summer, but it's a hefty amount she said comes with an even bigger reward.
"To see these families who are in such need and to be able to meet that need with the children is just heart-warming," said Motuliak. "It's what we do. It's why we're here every day."
For a list of locations where children can receive their summer meals, visit Food Finder's website .
Motuliak said they're always accepting donations for the summer program. She said their biggest need is for healthy food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Motuliak said those donations can be dropped off at the food bank, beginning in June.
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