Organizations Helping to Feed Needy Students, Even in Summer

LYNCHBURG, VA - Linkhorne Elementary can feed about 350 kids every school day.

"If they're hungry, they're not going to be able to concentrate," said Supervisor Tammy Wilson.

Wilson is the woman whipping up the meals. She makes sure kids are putting fruits and vegetables on their plates.

For some, this meal is very important.

"I guess it is something that we do kind of wonder about sometimes because some of the children do come in and they are so hungry that it looks as though they might not have a lot to eat at home," Wilson said.

The school lunch here costs $1.75. A reduced lunch is 40 cents.

What happens this summer when school's out, though, and the lunch is off the table?

Parks and Recreation helps fill the gap.

With help from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, kids get a snack and lunch at any of Lynchburg's five community centers.

Other non-profits help too.

At the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg, they'll feed 100 kids a day, five days a week, all summer long.

Club director Mark Sheehan knows food is a basic need.

"If you're hungry, you're not in a good mood. One of the ways we help kids to manage their behavior is feed them and feed them a healthy snack every day," Sheehan said.

The Boys and Girls Club recently put in a garden. In the summer, it feeds kids and teaches them how to grow and prepare healthy food... all in the middle of one of Lynchburg's notorious food deserts.

The garden is important, but, the Boys and Girls Club also gets two meals a day from the White Rock Community Center.

City schools also have a few summer programs that provide meals: some cost money while others don't.