PEORIA Peoria sees a sharp increase in the number of hungry kids when school is not in session. Neighborhood House is tackling this growing problem with a new program, as they often see kids come in during the summertime looking for food.
“A lot of these parents just can’t provide for their kids,” says Carrie Conte.
Carrie Conte delivers food for neighborhood house’s meals on wheels program. She stops at fifty or sixty houses per day, and says about half of them are homes to hungry kids.
“They receive a meal in school, but, if there is a day off from school some of them just won’t eat.
So Neighborhood House is taking action.
The organization works to fight hunger in the community and will provide a free lunch each weekday during the summer to children and teens in need. It’s part of the “Summer Meals for Kids Program.’
“Children in the 61605 zip code-many of them receive free or reduced lunches during the school year and when school is not in session, many of them don’t have access to adequate nutrition.
About eighty percent of the kids in the South Side of Peoria fill their bellies with free lunches during the school year, but breaks from school add the challenge of finding an extra meal.
“We had so many kids show up just looking for food all the time. They show up here on breaks, spring breaks, whenever.”
This is the programs first year. Neighborhood House is looking for volunteers to prepare for the summer.
Lunches will be 11:30 AM through 1 PM on Monday through Friday. Interested people can email or call Roberta English at 674-1131 or RobertaE@NHPeoria.org. .