Over the coming weeks we will have a series of posts by our Summer Associate Kaitlin. Join her as she blogs about her experience with the Summer Food Service Program and the work God’s Pantry Food Bank is doing in Central and Eastern Kentucky.
What we do: The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP; also called Summer Meals or Summer Feeding) aims to fill in the distribution gap for free or reduced-price school meals that occurs when schools let out for the summer. During the summer months, many children lose access to the meals they received through the National School Lunch & Breakfast Program. SFSP helps reduce the extra burden placed on low-income families during months when school is not in session by providing free, nutritious meals and snacks to children 18 and under.
God’s Pantry Food Bank, as a sponsor of SFSP, oversees more than 20 summer meal sites throughout the state of Kentucky, not including the more than 60 additional sites providing summer meals within Fayette County that we work with.
Who I am: My name is Kaitlin and I am a Summer Associate for God’s Pantry Food Bank (GPFB), employed through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Myself and a few others in the Programs department oversee the Food Bank’s work with SFSP. This means we visit the summer meal sites we provide food for, purchase food for them, and basically take care of anything they need throughout the summer in order to keep providing free meals to kiddos across the state!
Why I’m writing this blog: There are two primary reasons.
- AmeriCorps encourages its Summer Associates to make the site they’re assigned to their own and really try to leave an impact on it. I need not only to fulfill the duties assigned to me in my position at God’s Pantry Food Bank, but also work to go above and beyond if there’s a particular project I see the opportunity to take on that will positively impact my work. For me, this blog is that project. I’m passionate about sharing experiences through writing, so working on this blog allows me to contribute to my Summer Associate position in my own way.
- Communication about SFSP is key to making sure it reaches as many families as possible! The more I can illuminate the work we’re doing over the summer and the more people know about our programs, the more people have the opportunity to access free summer meals.
What I hope to do: Many, many things! I’m excited to share information about where all of our summer meal sites are and when they’re operating to show the impact of SFSP. I want to provide more information about how the program works and how it’s helping Kentuckians in need. I’m hoping to profile many of our sites and their volunteers, and give you a glimpse into a day in the life of people (like me!) who work in summer feeding.
So… Welcome to summer feeding and all it has to offer!