One in five children in Western New York is hungry because their families can't afford to feed them nutritious, filling meals.
Many of these children are fed through reduced price meal programs at schools across the region, but during the summer months, those children are going hungry. The Food Bank of Western New York tries to bridge the summer gap by providing meal assistance, but the organization is having a tough time meeting that need during the summer.
"For some families, the summer is carefree, but for others it's a very stressful time of year. Unfortunately, hunger is 365 days a year," says Catherine Shick, Public and Community Relations manager for the Food Bank of Western New York.
Shick says summer food donations are down by 20 percent, leaving the shelves in the bank's warehouse barren. The food bank provides meals and funding for member agencies that provide summer meals for families and children in need of assistance.
The Food Bank of Western New York serves nearly more than 100,000 families across four counties, including more than 55,000 hungry children and infants.
"People are always in the giving mood during the holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, but summer is a difficult time for people too," says Shick.
If you're in need of assistance or you want to help the Food Bank of Western New York, visit here.
You can also participate in the 'Walk Off Hunger' on July 29th at Island Park in Williamsville. The event is open to all ages. The food bank is trying to collect more than 600,000 meals.