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HRDC helps address child food insecurity with summer program

SUMMER MEALS WEB.jpg
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 11:19:30-04

BOZEMAN — When you think about summer, you might think about the hot temperatures or vacation, but for some families they have to figure out how they’re going to feed their kids without the help of school.

“Families on average incur about $300 per child per month in additional food costs when school is not in session, so having access to free meals is obviously a huge benefit,” said Lyra Leigh-Nedbor with HRDC.

A huge benefit in fighting against food insecurity. The Food Bank operates 9 different sites in Bozeman and several across the county.

“Not only is it a financial convenience, it’s just a general parent mental health convenience. They don’t have to worry as much about figuring out what to feed their kiddo for lunch,” Leigh-Nedbor said.

It’s the second week of the summer food program, but already there’s been a high number of participants.

“I would say it’s comparable probably to 2019, maybe even a little bit higher,” said Leigh-Nedbor.

Participation was still pretty high last year despite COVID-19, and the pandemic actually taught organizers a few new tricks.

"Streamlining to the cold menu simplified a lot of things for us and made it a lot easier. So, we actually learned a lot and it was a great experience for us and I think it encouraged us to change our methods and try out new things,” explained Leigh-Nedbor.

For a full list of all the locations, click here.