Every summer weekday morning, workers at the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD) cook, pack, and deliver hundreds of nutritionally balanced, hot meals to kids across Flint who otherwise might not eat. Food is central to healthy development in kids, but constraints such as poverty, parent work schedules, and limited food availability make it difficult for many Flint families to provide nutritious meals for their children.
During the school year, free breakfasts and lunches served at school help keep bellies full. But every summer, thousands of children lack access to regular, healthy meals-which is why the Community Foundation granted $50,000 to support GCCARD's Meet Up and Eat Up program.
The program delivers a snack and a hot meal to 20-plus community activity centers Monday through Friday (with extra food available for weekends). Last summer GCCARD delivered more than 42,000 meals, and this year they expect to serve more than 60,000. Denise Smith Sendes works at one of the centers. "The kids love the variety of the food," she said. "For many of them this may be the only full, cooked meal they have all day. The parents let us know how much they appreciate having the food here."