13% of King County students live in poverty, according to United Way.
These students, who normally qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year, are at risk of going hungry over the summer. Only 1 in 5 kids who have access to free and reduced lunch during the school year are accessing summer meals.
United Way's Summer Meals program is stepping in to make sure kids in King County have access to meals all summer. One hundred volunteers, who speak a combined 29 different languages, will serve meals to vulnerable populations in King County communities.
The program is a collaboration between several groups and companies volunteering to offer free meals at parks, community centers, and libraries. Meals will be available Monday through Friday for 10 weeks throughout the summer; arts, crafts, and hands-on activities will also be available at each location.
This program fills a gap with free meals, making sure that children don't go hungry during the summer and allowing low-income families to save money each month.
Washington ranks 36th in the nation for summer meals participation. The program implements millions of federal dollars set aside for summer lunch assistance that go unspent. United Way wants to spread the word to ensure that families can utilize this service throughout the summer.
To learn more about the program and how to participate, visit United Way of King County.