More than 30 Alabama school systems are currently participating in Emergency Meals to You, a collaborative effort between Baylor University, the USDA and local school systems.
The program delivers two weeks’ worth of shelf-stable food to qualifying families who receive free or reduced school meals.
Emergency Meals to You began in 2019 to help feed rural Texas children through the summer break and expanded this year thanks to the Cares Act. The program’s goal is to bridge the nutrition gap during COVID-19.
Jeremy Everett, executive director of Baylor’s Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, said by May 30, the program had distributed 443,700 meals to more than 14,000 children in more than 6,800 Alabama households.
Everett estimates the effort has sent 10 to 12 million meals to children in 40 states so far, and expects to send 30 to 40 million throughout the summer.
He also encourages churches to partner with a local summer food service program this year.
“This is a great time for congregations to be both about the faith community and the larger community, loving our neighbors as ourselves,” Everett said. “In this perilous time of unrest on every corner there is no better time to be that witness of faith, to walk alongside our neighbors to provide spiritually and physically by making sure children have food throughout the summer.”