Summer Meals Helping Combat Academic Slide for MT Children
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
MISSOULA, Mont. – During the summer months, children need food assistance more than ever.
One in five children in Montana lives in a food insecure home, meaning he or she isn't sure where a next meal is coming from.
Many of these children rely on free and reduced meals during the school year.
But Stephanie Stratton, programs manager for the Montana Food Bank Network, says only a small fraction access summer meal programs.
The food bank network supports 140 partners across the state with summer food sites funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Stratton says hunger over the summer can lead children to slide academically.
"Kids often, if they're not having their nutritional needs met, are not able to really retain some of the things that they learned throughout the school year and then are starting a little bit behind on their next school year," she points out.
Stratton says her organization is integrating fresh produce into its food deliveries. She says there are still barriers to providing meals for kids in rural parts of Montana.
A list of summer food sites is at the Montana Food Bank Network's website, mfbn.org.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is another component of keeping children fed during the summer.
The Trump administration has proposed cutting this program by 25 percent over the next decade. More than 48,000 children in Montana rely on SNAP every month.
Stratton says the proposed cuts to the program would hurt Big Sky children, as well as other Montanans.
"It would be devastating for thousands of Montana families – not only households with children, but many of our senior populations would see a reduction in benefits, and it would also hurt our food pantries because, with the reduction in benefits of SNAP, they're going to see more people visiting food pantries," she points out.
Stratton notes that many farmers' markets accept SNAP. In some western Montana markets, families can double up on their SNAP dollars.
get more stories like this via email
LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …
Health and Wellness
By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …
SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…
BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…
HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …
Health and Wellness
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …