In Kansas, nearly one in four children live in poverty. During the school year, many children receive two square meals a day, but in the summertime, too many of our Kansas children go hungry. However, the Federal Summer Feeding Program provides funding for communities to host sites where kids can be guaranteed a meal during the summer months. Unfortunately, Kansas ranks 50th in the nation for the percentage of children served by the summer meal program.
Consider sending representatives to the Summer Meals Summit in Wichita on Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., hosted by the Kansas Department of Education. Civic leaders, parks, educators, faith-based organizations and more will share best practices as well as barriers to participation. The Summit will include speakers from Share Our Strength, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Kansas Dept. of Education (KSDE), and Kansas Appleseed. The Summit will address urban and rural communities in both Eastern and Western Kansas and will include breakout discussion groups for all four groups.
The Summit is free of charge for Kansas churches and includes lunch. Register online. The location for the Summer Feeding Program Summit is the Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas Health Foundation conference center, 325 East Douglas Ave., Wichita. (See map.)
For those individuals who live more than 175 miles from Wichita, the Kansas Health Foundation will provide one night’s lodging on Jan. 25 at the Ambassador Hotel, adjacent to the Summit location. (Participants will be responsible for any hotel charges other than the room rate and taxes.) Hotel reservations must be received by Jan. 4. You will need to provide a credit card number in order to guarantee your reservation when you call 316-239-7100. Be sure to mention the Kansas Summer Meals Summit when making your reservation.
Please consider sending representatives to learn about providing meals for children this summer and share what needs are particular to your community. If your congregation has an education partnership already or is looking to begin one, this program is a natural tie-in to engaging with schools. Read more about Great Plains education partnerships.
If you have questions about the Kansas Summer Meals Summit, contact Blythe Thomas with the Kansas Health Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-262-7676.