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Meal trucks, apartments help feed low-income kids this summer

WASHINGTON – Summer isn’t a fun time for low income families. Some kids go hungry, while some parents see their grocery bills explode all because kids have a harder time accessing subsidized meals with school out.

As a result, low-income families can see their grocery bills increase by as much as $300 per month over the summer, according to a study by the group Share Our Strength, a national non-profit working to end childhood hunger.

Facilities that continue to serve the meals, like recreation centers, may be too far away for kids to get to safely. Because of that, “We’ve been working on an innovative model that brings food to where the kids are,” according to Josh Wachs, chief strategy officer for Share Our Strength.

Their solution: a meal delivery truck in Prince George’s County, Md. It visits six apartment complexes in Suitland every day.

The project involves the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Maryland Department of Education, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and food-service company Sodexo. The apartment complexes are also involved.

Share Our Strength has organized a similar program in Charles County, Md., and the group has even larger plans.

“This is a model that is picking up momentum throughout the country,” Wachs says.

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