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Advocates worry end of federal pandemic relief will drive increase in child hunger

The Columbus-based Children's Hunger Alliance distributing meals to Ohio residents.
Amanda Thomson
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Children's Hunger Alliance
The Columbus-based Children's Hunger Alliance distributing meals to Ohio residents.

K-12 students may no longer have access to free grab and go meals after the end of the current school year.

When federal pandemic relief expires, so too will child nutrition waivers that allow more flexibility where free student meals can be handed out. That effects places like libraries and rec centers that don’t have areas for groups to sit and eat.

According to the Columbus-based advocacy group Children’s Hunger Alliance, a quarter of Ohio’s children are food insecure. Shannon Amos is the Alliance’s Vice President for Programs.

Shanon Amos
700,000 children in Ohio are food insecure.

“We know that the need is more critical than ever." Amos said. "And unfortunately because we are going to be moving back to standard regulations we know that less meals will be served.”

Amos says the alliance is working on raising a quarter million dollars to cover the thousands of children in Ohio who could be impacted.