The Utah Food Bank is offering food boxes containing seven breakfasts and seven supper meal kits for youth up to age 18 this summer. The food boxes will be available at the following Lehi locations starting Tuesday, June 1, and going until Tuesday, Aug. 10:
Lehi Elementary, 765 N. Center St., every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon
LDS Church, 3145 W. Mayflower Ave., every Tuesday from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
LDS Church, 300 W. State Rd. 89, every Tuesday from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Parents and youth do not need to register or qualify for the program, and children don’t need to be present at the drive-thru to get the meal kits.
“In June 2020 we served over 100,000 meals statewide. That’s more than 50,000 more meals than we served in June 2019,” said Erin Thurber, Kids Programs coordinator for the Utah Food Bank. “So many children rely on getting fed at school, and summer is an uncertain time for them.”
“Summer is a critical time for Utah children and their families who face hunger because the school meal programs they rely on during the school year aren’t available,” the Utah Food Bank website explains. According to the Feeding America website, when a child faces hunger, especially during the first three years, “They begin life at a serious disadvantage. When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. As they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.”
The Alpine School District provided free breakfast and lunch to all school children during the 2020-2021 school year. Many teachers noticed children were eating lunch every day once every student got free lunch. “I would see kids bring in a sleeve of Oreos for their lunch, or a soda. They really eat healthier and more now that they get lunch at school,” said one all-day kindergarten teacher.
The Utah Food Bank meal kits also come with seven regular milks to go with breakfast cereal, and seven chocolate milks for supper.