With summer break starting next week in Quincy, many parents are wondering how they're going to provide lunch for their kids when they're not in school.
Several area programs are stepping in to help ease the pressure.
"I believe having that having our site open for summer lunch, it just provides that additional meal for our students," said Berrian Elementary Principal Chrissy Cox.
Cox says her school is one of several Quincy Public Schools participating in a summer food service program.
On average during the summer, Cox says she sees 100-150 kids a day coming in for a free, hot lunch.
"Instead of eating all the junk food that's out there, it's a lot cheaper and less expensive to come in to school to get a nice, nutritious lunch," said Cox.
Berrian isn't the only spot offering a helping hand during the summer. Horizons Soup Kitchen Manager Mark Geissler says he sees a huge spike in the number of people coming in during the summer months.
"The last couple of summers we've averaged about 500 kids a month coming in here," said Geissler.
One of the families taking advantage of Horizons' free lunch is Andrea Austin. Austin is a single mother of two who says her budget is tight when the kids are out of school.
"Sometimes you don't always get enough to go around, and if your struggling income wise as a single parent with 2 kids, it can be hard," said Austin.
A hot meal, Austin says, is something not everyone can afford, but something everyone deserves.
"I think there's a lot of families out there that aren't able to provide as well as they want to for their children," said Austin.
Lunch will be served from May 28 - August 14, Monday through Friday, for both Berrian and Washington Elementary.
The Hannibal School District is also offering free summer meals. School aged children up to 18 years old can get breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. Veterans Elementary and Hannibal Middle School will serve the meals June 3rd through the 28th.
Many other school districts across the Tri-States offer summer meal programs. You should check with your child's principal if you need assistance.
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