Hungry and out of school a look at the struggle to keep kids full in the summer

Hungry and out of school a look at the struggle to keep kids full in the summer
WVLA Staff
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POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 5:43pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 6:07pm

When schools close their doors for the summer, some local parents have a hard time keeping nutritious food on the table. Parents have to make up for meals kids normally get in the cafeteria.

Sausha Clay tries to provide her son William with lean options, but it's not always easy. She like many other moms depends on St. Vincent dePaul's dining room for help.

"It's very frustrating," Clay described. "A lot of time I end up crying. I want my son to be healthy. I don't want him to have to snack off chips at night. Or, just eat cereal in the mornings. I want him to have a nice healthy breakfast like grits and eggs the things they eat at school."

Denise Terrance, dining room director at St. Vincent dePaul, explained keeping kids full during the summer is a problem a lot of a families face.

"Since mom still has to go to work and it's hard to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day," Terrance said.

Terrance said they've seen record high lunch crowds come to their dining room this summer. The largest growth comes from hungry families.

"It breaks your heart to think that if we weren't here that that family would be struggling even more, but it's just by the grace of God that we are here and we are able to relieve them of that pressure," Terrance exclaimed.

Clay explained it isn't easy for her family to get to the shelter.

"We stay almost on the other side of town, and we walk down here," Clay said. "Sometimes he is tired, but he is happy to eat. He is happy."

Clay said she'll do what ever it takes to help keep her son happy.

Terrance says St. Vincent dePaul's dining room also serves more than 315 children at summer camp through its summer feeding program.

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