Summer Meals coalition feeds local children
Last Thursday, the Baltimore County Summer and Afterschool Meals Coalition, No Kid Hungry Maryland and the American Dairy Association North East
gathered at the Dundalk PAL Center to celebrate the success and continue to raise awareness of the summer meals program available in Baltimore County.
The program provided lunch for 20-plus children who may not have had a nutritious meal otherwise and brought former NFL player Brad Jackson to interact with the kids.
“A lot of these kids wouldn’t have lunch right now,” said Jackson, glancing around the room.
Jackson got involved through the NFL, Play 360 and the Dairy Farmers of America. After finding out about breakfasts being provided in schools, Jackson became more involved in the cause, which he says he holds “near and dear.”
Jackson continued, “this gives the kids a safe environment. It’s just wonderful that I could be a small part in helping out.”
In communities where a fair portion of children living there are eligible for meal assistance during the school year, meals can be supplemented throughout the summer months as well.
“For all of the kids who either get reduced pricing or free meals, our program aims to make sure they’re getting everything they need throughout the summer months,” said Brooke McCauley of Maryland Hunger Solutions. “We don’t want them to experience a nutrition gap.”
According to McCauley, approximately half of the children registered for public school in Baltimore County qualify for meal assistance.
“If folks know of any place where kids who might be hungry are gathering during the summer, these programs are free to all participants,” McCauley said.
There are already more than 10 summer meal locations in Dundalk. To locate the closest location to you, visit mdsummermeals.org.
Former NFL player Brad Jackson poses with 8-year-old fan, Josiah Eeshawn, who is wearing the player’s Superbowl ring.
Kara Panowitz of Maryland No Kid Left Hungry (left), supports Brooke McCauley of Maryland Hunger Solutions (right) as she implores the room to spread the word about the programs.