Searching 4 Solutions: New campaign feeds kids during summer

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – For one little girl eating cheese dip was one of the highlights during her summer lunch.

“We have black beans and corn and some fruit,” she said.

She was eating a USDA balanced meal, which was something that might not have been possible without Little Rock’s new Be Mighty Campaign.

“A lot of folks don’t think about this, but holidays and summer are really big problems for families that rely on school meals for their children,” Kathy Webb, with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, said.

Thanks to a grant, Little Rock kids and teens under 18 will be able to get breakfast, lunch and snacks for free during the summer. That meant just because school was out for summer, kids will not have to go hungry.

“We know that kids struggle in the summer when they rely on school meals, so the Be Mighty Campaign is a collaborative effort to make sure kids get access to meals in the summer,” Webb said.

Little Rock School District’s King Elementary was just one of 54 locations across the city offering free summer meals. Churches, community centers and other organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club were also part of this program. In just one day, they served 5000 meals across the city, but organizers hope that number will increase.

“We want it to go up because there’s more kids than that who could use the meals and so that’s one of the reasons that we want people to know about it,” Webb said.

Little Rock was just one of six cities in the country to get this grant. The goal was for every kid and teen in the city to have the resources needed to be mighty.

“We try to do balanced meals for the kids, so they’re going to be able to focus on what they’re doing. They’re going to be able to play, learn, read and not have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from,” Webb said.

The Be Mighty Campaign is also giving out METRO bus passes to kids who do not have transportation to one of the facilities. The bus passes can be picked up at a city library. Riders 11 and under can also get a pass for their parents or older siblings.

There are free summer meal sites across the state. Text “food” to 877877 to find a location in your area. Click here for a list of locations in Little Rock.

Local partners of the Be Mighty Campaign include the City of Little Rock, Central Arkansas Library System, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, AdClub Little Rock and the Little Rock School District.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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