Schools, organizations prepare for increased need for food during summer break

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The last day of school is around the corner for a lot of students in the Piedmont.

Summer gets a lot of attention for vacations and fun, but this is also a time when worry can set in for many families that rely on school meals.

Volunteers at Helping Hands Ministry in High Point are already preparing for the increased demand that comes during summer.

“They've already asked us, ‘Can you help us a little bit more for the summer time,’” said John Langdon, executive director of Helping Hands Ministry.

Volunteers there are distributing meal packs specifically for summer.

Food pantries are not the only ones making an effort to feed children during the seasonal break -- schools are also stepping in.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will begin providing meals June 20 at 19 schools Monday through Thursday.

“A lot of people think that it's just district students, but it's any child. So if you have family visiting, if you have friends at your house, they can come and eat meals for free too,” said Lauren Richards, director of child nutrition at Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools.

Guilford County Schools will offer breakfast and lunch at 22 schools starting June 15 also Monday through Thursday.

Non-profit Backpack Beginnings is working with Guilford County Schools to supplement the need on weekends.

“We're also going to be meeting some of the mobile food trucks from the school system that are traveling around Monday and meet some of those trucks on Thursday to meet that gap Friday through Sunday,” said Parker White, founder and executive director of Backpack Beginnings.

About 55 percent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students receive free and reduced meals.

The number is more than 60 percent in Guilford County.

For a complete list of locations, contact the school districts or community agencies if additional assistance is needed.

You can find a summer feeding site near you by texting FOODNC to 877-877.

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