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Foodbanks Are Preparing Summer Food Programs For Ohio's Kids

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Many K-12 students are back in classrooms this spring but when school is out for the summer, they won’t have a place to get the free or reduced meals schools provide. And with the pandemic, the normal summer food service program will be a little different this year. 

Ohio Association of Foodbanks Executive Director Lisa Hamler Fugitt says many school buildings that usually provide summer meals won’t be able to do that this year due to coronavirus limitations. So, she says many foodbanks, libraries and other non-profits will be offering prepared meals for those kids. And she says the federal government has made it easier to house the program in non-profit organizations this summer. 

“The United States Department of Agriculture has waived a lot of the regulations to make it easier. The issue is will those organizations, traditional organizations, non-profit organization return and operate programs this summer?," Hamler Fugitt asks.

Hamler Fugitt says some older volunteers are returning to help out at foodbanks now that they have been fully vaccinated. But she’s unsure whether there will be enough of them to help out at new summer feeding locations. She says the Ohio National Guard will still be helping out with food distribution at foodbanks through September. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.