Forgotten Harvest ‘Healthy Food Healthy Kids’ Provides 100,000 Free Meals Through August

    OAK PARK – Food insecurity nonprofit Forgotten Harvest works to keep children nourished year-round through its Healthy Food Healthy Kids initiative comprising Youth Snack, School Pantry and Summer Lunch. Both Youth Snack, which provides nutritious snacks to young people in afterschool programs, and School Pantry, which hosts food pantries at schools and education-based facilities, run all year. Summer Lunch provides 100,000 meals to metro Detroit’s kids between June and August each year to replace the meals missed when school breakfast and lunch aren’t accessible. 

    Throughout the tri-county area of metro Detroit, more than 20% of all children live in households that experience food insecurity. Not having enough nutritious food to eat on a regular basis is particularly consequential for kids who are still undergoing physical and cognitive development and can face undue challenges in their health and learning abilities from a lack of food. 

    “Children are one of the groups most vulnerable to the negative effects of food insecurity,” said Kelly McEvoy, Director of Food Programs at Forgotten Harvest. “That’s why we created Healthy Food Healthy Kids. They need to be able to access enough food to support their growth, even when school is out.”

    Some 100,000 summer lunches will be packed for metro Detroit’s children by Forgotten Harvest staff and volunteers to be distributed at 31 locations throughout the tri-county area. Many distributors run summer programming for the community’s kids and serve Forgotten Harvest Summer Lunch on-site, including tutoring programs, sports camps and 12 branches of the Detroit Public Library. 10,000 of the lunches will be provided for Metro Detroit Youth Day, a free field-day-style event held on Belle Isle on July 10th from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. 

    For those in need who aren’t frequenting summer programming, Forgotten Harvest summer lunches are also being distributed at 12 mobile pantries that serve some of the highest concentrations of children in the tri-county area: Oakland Church of Christ in Southfield, Kensington Church in Troy, Woodside Bible Church in Lake Orion, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan – La Casa Amiga in Pontiac, St. Clemente of Romeo, Metropolitan Church of the Nazarene in Roseville, Bethesda Christian Church in Sterling Heights, Straight Gate Church in Detroit, Alternatives for Girls in Detroit, Gompers/Brightmoor Alliance in Detroit, Anne Visger Preparatory Academy in River Rouge and Hand Up Inc. in Romulus. 

    Forgotten Harvest’s Healthy Food Healthy Kids initiative is being funded and sponsored by the Robert F. Beard Charitable Foundation, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Lineage Foundation for Good, Huntington Bank and Lear Corporation.