25 Nebraska counties have schools that are eligible to participate in the free and reduced price lunch program, but currently have no summer feeding programs.
Kate Bolz, Executive Director for Nebraska Appleseed, says a new grant program recently approved in the legislature offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to bridge that gap.
She says Senator Norm Wallman introduced the legislation because 1 in 5 children in Nebraska is food insecure.
Bolz says the additional funding is important because the state ranks low nationwide for its availability of funds to run its summer food service programs.
"So this new funding is available to help non-profit organizations serve kids during the summer. And we want folks not only to know that there are kids in need of food assistance in the summertime, but also non-profit organizations to know that this funding is available to help them overcome whatever barrier they might have to participating in this federal program.”
Bolz says the two most common barriers non-profits face are transportation to get children to the meal sites, and funding for staff to administer the programs.
Details on the new grant program are available at www.education.ne.gov and look for nutrition services.