For thousands of children in Orange County, the summer months bring uncertainty when it comes to regularly eating lunch — it’s what Feeding America calls the Summer “Hunger Gap.” According to the most recent Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, 49.1% of students are eligible for their school’s Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program. This means that during the summer, nearly half of students in Orange County are at an increased risk of experiencing food insecurity.
Closing the Summer Hunger Gap for these children requires families to have access to resources within their own communities. At Friendly Center, with four locations across Orange County, our year-round Community Food Program provides support during the summer months by having at least one food distribution scheduled every weekday. Additionally, students in our summer education program have access to nutritious meals through a summer nutrition program. Friendly Center’s emergency food program is also in place to give food to those whose hunger cannot wait until the next distribution.
In the summer months, non-perishable food items don’t stay on our pantry shelves long – but there are two ways you can help us ensure there is enough food for everyone who comes through Friendly Center’s doors. First, you can host a food drive; though food drives are more common during the holiday season, non-perishable food is just as needed and greatly appreciated in the summer.
You can also support Friendly Center’s food programs by participating in Grocery Outlet of Orange’s 2019 “Independence from Hunger” fundraiser through the month of July. For this in-store fundraiser, shoppers are encouraged to donate $5 to Friendly Center to get $5 off their next purchase or donate prepackaged grocery bags available at check-out! Don’t miss out on this unique way to fight hunger while grocery shopping! Grocery Outlet of Orange is located at 1803 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92867.