Summer Food Program Provides Help for Struggling Families - 8 News NOW

Summer Food Program Provides Help for Struggling Families

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LAS VEGAS -- Hunger doesn't take a summer vacation.

With kids out of school, more low-income parents throughout the valley are struggling to provide three meals a day for their kids.

Summer food programs are now trying to fill in the gaps. Many low-income kids are dependent on free and reduced lunch during the school year.

Being without that during the summer, means some families will go without.

The summer food program at the nonprofit Communities in Schools is serving more than 60 kids a day. For some, it is their main source of food.

At Communities in Schools, snack time is one of the most exciting parts of the day. A cereal bar is where 8-year-old Leslie Zapata gets her zip.

"I feel like I have a lot of energy," Leslie said.

During the summer, more than 60 kids across the valley are getting free food three times a day through this summer program:

"Apples, cheese and crackers, peanut butter snacks with crackers, granola bars. Something that is healthy but still not too heavy," Sylvia Joiner-Greene with Communities in School said.

This may be one of the only times the kids in the program have access to fresh food during the summer, as this is the time where families struggle to provide basics.

"They eat during school here, but what happens when the school year ends? So, this is an extra help for these families that are suffering," Joiner-Greene said.

The food comes in part from Three Square, a local food bank. but they also count on federal funding and donations.

This helps parents who don't have the transportation, or the means, to buy food for their kids.

"That eliminates that barrier from families not having food," Joiner-Greene said.

The summer food program run through Communities in Schools ends August 9, which means there are still weeks where the kids and their families may be dependent on food pantries until school starts up once again.

Communities in Schools kids can use things like cereal bars, applesauce, and juice to help stock food pantries. Go to,, to find out how to help.

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