While their classmates are swimming and playing outdoors during summer vacation, 146,000 Nebraska children will be worrying about finding their next meal. The summer months are especially difficult for children at-risk for hunger and their families. Forty-two percent of children receive free or reduced school lunches, and are seeking other resources for meals when school is out of session.
To combat the epidemic of childhood hunger in Nebraska, The Omaha Salvation Army and Food Bank for the Heartland are collaborating again this summer for the Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program (KCK).
In its fifth year, KCK brings hot, nutritious meals free of charge to the places where children live and play such as pools, parks, libraries and apartment complexes. Children 18 years of age and under are eligible for meals. In 2014, over 50,000 children’s meals were served.
KCK will be distributing meals to 15 sites in the Omaha metro area. Mutual
of Omaha employees are donating more than 1,200 volunteer hours to
assist in the distribution of the meals.
Children who do not eat regular nutritious meals can suffer long-term effects, both academically and in growth and development. Hunger can increase a child’s risk for illness, obesity and other health problems.