TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Now that school is out, thousands of children in the Toledo area don't know where their next meal is coming from. One program is working to make sure Toledo kids don't go hungry this summer.
"We have different types of things. They provide us with snacks and dinners. That have different stuff. Things I really like," says 5th grader, Ramona. She is one of 30,000 kids in Northwest Ohio who will have a full belly every day this summer.
It's thanks to the Summer Meal Partners of Northwest Ohio. The program, in its third year, has grown steadily.
"We started that first year with 236,000 meals. Last year we served over 300,000. We fully intend to eclipse the 310,000 mark this year," said Summer Meal Partners Spokesperson, Wendi Huntley.
Summer Meal Partners of Northwest Ohio said the meals aren't just cold sandwiches, thrown into paper bags. There's a lot of effort to make sure the meals are nutritious and tasty.
"We actually survey the kids as summer meal partners. We ask them, 'what do you like?' So that we can make sure that we're not just providing nutritious meals, but we're actually providing items that the kids actually like," said Huntley.
There are 175 sites across northwest Ohio, serving meals to kids who otherwise, may not eat. There's a real need. More than 30,000 kids in Lucas County live in homes at or below the poverty level.
"At the same time, nearly 80% of students who attend Toledo Public Schools, are living in poverty with free or reduced lunch accounts, every single day," said Toledo Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Romulus Durant.
If you'd like help for your kids this summer, call 2-1-1 to find the closest serving site to you. A map and list of serving sites can be found here.