Mountain View Voice

News - June 14, 2013

Full bellies all summer long

by Nick Veronin

Hunger isn't just a problem in the developing world. Even in the ostensibly well-to-do communities of Silicon Valley, one out of every three children rely on free or reduced-price meals provided to them by their local schools.

But what happens when school isn't in session?

The Mountain View Whisman School District and a local food bank have answers to that question.

Kathy Jackson, CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, wants struggling local families to know they don't need to worry about how they will feed their children over the summer.

The food bank's "Stop Childhood Hunger" campaign aims to help kids have a carefree summer. According to a Second Harvest press release, the organization plans serve about 100,000 children each month this summer.

Parents of children at Crittenden, Castro, Theuerkauf and Monta Loma schools may have seen a Second Harvest flier promoting the campaign. The organization distributed informational material at those campuses, as they each serve a large percentage of socioeconomically disadvantaged children.

"Making sure kids get enough to eat is one way to help end the cycle of poverty," Jackson said in a statement. "Education is the key to earning a decent living, but hunger can deprive children of the opportunity to get a good education. When kids have the nutritious food they need to thrive, they are better prepared to learn. They have the energy to pursue their dreams."

Information on Second Harvest programs can be found at the organization's website, shfb.org, or by calling their multilingual hotline at 800-984-3663.

The local elementary and middle school district also has a program for feeding children over the summer. Craig Goldman, superintendent of the Mountain View Whisman School District, said the Seamless Summer program is open to all children under the age of 18.

There is no registration necessary. Anyone under 18 can simply show up at Monta Loma school, prove their age and eat breakfast and lunch for free, Goldman said. The program is scheduled to run from June 17 through July 26, with breakfast served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monta Loma school is located at 460 Thompson Ave. in Mountain View.

"It may appear that these are economic boom times for the local community, but we still have many families that are struggling to get by." Goldman said. "So these additional resources are very helpful for families to feed their children and not have to make impossible choices to make ends meet."

Like Jackson, Goldman said it is crucial that children not have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from.

"We want students to be able to focus on having a happy and healthy childhood and not worry about whether they're going to have an adequate amount of food to get through the day."

Comments

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I thing the MVWSD should not to have to do this but they do. Keep up the good works, keep those kids fed and happy. They well thank you in the end.


Posted by Well Done, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

We are ONE community, and this is wonderful. I'm proud of our district for doing this.


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