Kentucky Association of Food Banks Announces $25,000 in Mini-Grants Available for Summer Meal Sponsors Through KY Kids Eat and Anthem Medicaid
Kentucky Association of Food Banks
BEREA, Ky. (February 8, 2018) — When school lets out this year, thousands of children will lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and afterschool meals they receive. In fact, only 1 in 12 students that eat free or reduced-price meals are connected to free summer meals in Kentucky. While the Summer Food Service Program has grown significantly in the past few years, Kentucky’s kids are in need of over 5.8 million more summer meals to fill the gap.
Thanks to generous funding from Anthem Medicaid, $25,000 in mini grants will be available through Kentucky Kids Eat to support mobile meal routes throughout Kentucky, ensuring kids stay healthy and fed throughout the summer months. Additional funding will be used to support enrichment at summer meal sites. Funding will be available to summer meal service sponsors, and up to 17 sponsors throughout the state will be awarded mini grant funding.
“Anthem Medicaid would like to see all youth have access to proper nutrition when school is out over the summer months,” said Celia Manlove, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid president. “We are honored to partner with Kentucky Kids Eat to help brighten the summers months through these grants which will provide well-balanced meals to those children that need it most.”
The Summer Food Service Program is run by the Kentucky Department of Education, which provides federal funding from USDA to sponsors such as schools, food banks and nonprofit organizations, to offer meals at over 2,000 sites throughout the state.
“The KY Kids Eat Coalition believes childhood hunger is a solvable problem, and through partnerships with food banks, school systems, government officials, and funders like Anthem Medicaid, we provide innovative hunger solutions in communities across the state,” says Kate McDonald, No Kid Hungry KY Campaign Coordinator. “Childhood hunger is a public health issue, and partnerships with companies like Anthem Medicaid are crucial to ensuring more Kentucky kids grow up healthy.”
An important piece to solving summer hunger in Kentucky is increasing access to summer meals. Whether it is because sites are too far away, transportation is unavailable or too costly for families, or parents just don’t know about summer nutrition programs, many Kentucky kids are missing out on meals every summer. Mobile meals are one solution to this challenge, whereby sponsors use vehicles to transport and serve meals directly at apartment complexes, parks, and other locations where children spend their summer days.
"The reality is, that while federal funds are designed to cover the meal cost, they often fall short of covering the additional cost of mobile route meals,” says Cathy Gallagher, Section Supervisor, Summer Food Service Program, Division of School and Community Nutrition, Kentucky Department of Education. “Additional funding in the summer meals program will benefit many more hungry children this summer.”
Applications for KY Kids Eat and Anthem Medicaid mini grants will be available in mid-February. To apply, visit kykidseat.org.