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Foodbanks Are Preparing Summer Food Programs for Ohio's Kids

children eating lunch
New Africa
Food assistance programs for students in grades K-12 might might relocate as some programs shift to food banks, libraries and other nonprofits instead of schools.

Many K-12 students are back in classrooms this spring, but when school is out for the summer, they won’t have a place to get the free or reduced meals schools provide. And with the pandemic, the normal summer food service program will be a little different this year. 

Ohio Association of Foodbanks Executive Director Lisa Hamler Fugitt says many school buildings that usually provide summer meals won’t be able to do that this year because of coronavirus limitations. So, she says many food banks, libraries and other nonprofits will be offering prepared meals for those kids. And she says the federal government has made it easier to house the program in nonprofit organizations this summer. 

“The United States Department of Agriculture has waived a lot of the regulations to make it easier. The issue is will those organizations, traditional organizations, nonprofit organization return and operate programs this summer?" Hamler Fugitt asked.

Hamler Fugitt says some older volunteers are returning to help out at food banks now that they have been fully vaccinated. But she’s unsure whether there will be enough of them to help out at new summer feeding locations. She says the Ohio National Guard will still be helping out with food distribution at food banks through September. 
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