Reporting Stephanie Lucero
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While the North Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Service Program feeds about 2,000 children breakfast or lunch every weekday, executives say there are still thousands who aren’t in the program but qualify for the free meals.
They say they’re concerned these children are going hours without food.
“Getting to the kids is one of the biggest challenges,” said Brad Wendling, Senior Manager of Program Services for the NTFB. “We’ve had trouble finding the kids, believe it or not.”
But Wendling says the agency also has limited funds to locate suitable locations to serve the meals to other children who qualify.
During the school year, the food bank was able to use 30 locations in Dallas and Grayson counties. During the summer months there are 20 locations that meet the requirements of city code inspectors.
About 90 children are fed free lunch every weekday at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch.
“Sometimes I don’t find nothing, no food in the refrigerator, so I ask my mom if I can go to my uncle’s house because he lives close to us” says Jason Umana, 10.
Parents who live below the poverty level must fill out a form to enroll their children in the program. But Wendling says many families that qualify don’t ask for the help and he says there is room at many of the locations to serve more children.
“Sometimes it’s good for your body,” Jason said. “And you have healthy stuff in your stomach.”
If you wish to donate food or money, head here. Earlier in the week, executive say they fear the food bank will be $1 million short of the fundraising goal for the fiscal year.