Hopelink launches End Summer Hunger campaign to feed low-income kids

Hopelink will launch its annual End Summer Hunger fund and food drive in April, with the proceeds going to stock Hopelink's six food banks in north and east King County for the high-demand summer months when subsidized meal programs at schools are not available, and for homelessness prevention.

In 2006, the End Summer Hunger campaign raised more than $115,000 in monetary and food donations.

Nearly 13 percent of the school children in school districts in Hopelink's service areas in north and east King County receive free or reduced cost breakfasts and lunches during the school year. Even with the help of these programs, parents of those children struggle to meet their families' nutrition and other basic needs.

When the subsidized meal programs are not available, parents experience an even greater strain on their already stressed household budgets, and rely even more heavily on food banks to fill the gap. Families with two working parents must also find ways to pay for summer daycare, further straining the family budget - which sometimes even leads to an inability to pay rent or their mortgage, putting them at risk for homelessness.

The grassroots End Summer Hunger campaign begins April 1 and ends July 1, and seeks the support of individuals, businesses, schools and organizations.

This program is particularly important because donations historically drop during the summer, leaving food banks with lower than normal supplies.

Schools that support the program encourage children in classrooms to collect coins, while businesses and organizations hold food drives, fund drives, or both, according to what works best for each entity.

Individuals who wish to support the summer need can donate cash through Hopelink's website at www.hope-link.org.

For more information about supporting the End Summer Hunger campaign, please contact Ben Martinka, 869-6000, benm@hope-link.org.[[In-content Ad]]