Wichita Falls, TX -
When summer begins in a couple of weeks many kids who rely on meals at school will be turning to places like the Southside South Senter.
It is one-of-nine locations throughout Wichita Falls, starting June 8, where kids 18 years and younger can go to eat a hot and nutritious meal for free as a part of the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank's Summer Feeding Program.
Newschannel 6 talked with officials about the program and how many families rely on this service.
"If they are food insecure during the school year, they are food insecure during the summer time as well," said Jim McMahan, Child Hunger Director. "So there is a lot of kids who may or not be getting a meal during the day or over the weekend."
One in four children in the twelve counties the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank serves are considered food insecue, meaning that lack reliable access to affordable or nutritious food.
Last year, the food bank served more than 20,000 summer meals to kids in the local community and this year it plans to feed even more. There expected to prepare more 34-thousand meals this summer.
"The main increase is because Burkburnett Boys & Girls Club was not participating with us last summer and they are this summer. There expecting a pretty large turnout," said McMahan. "They don't have to be club members. All they have to know is when the meals are served at those individual locations."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses the food bank for every meal served. There hope is that people in the local community are aware of this program and kids can find a means of transportation to receive these meals, because despite their best effort some still will go without.
"We're not outside of Wichita County with this program and most of the counties in our 12 counties do not have summer programs for kids."
Officials at the food bank say in the future it may be a possibility for them to have mobile feeding sites. However, before they would be able to do something like that they would first need to find an area where there is a large need and children would be able to get there.
Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6