Hunger Never Takes a Vacation

 In Blog

In the United States, approximately 22 million children rely on free or reduced-priced meals during the school year, yet only 2.7 million access free meals in the summer when school is out.    In the six (6) counties that make up the Diocese of Youngstown – Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Trumbull Counties – 39% of our students are on a free or reduced-priced meal program during the school year.  According to Feeding America’s latest Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity Estimates at County Levels, these same six (6) counties of our diocese maintain a 15.7% child food insecurity rate, compared with 16.8% for the state of Ohio.  This statistic means that more than one out of five children in our six county service area are experiencing hunger or are at risk for hunger right now.

What can you do to help children get the food their growing bodies need during the summer months?
Try one of these suggestions:

  1. PRAY  –  Visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s website to read this Pastoral Reflection titled “For I Was Hungry, and You Gave Me Food”
  2. GIVE  –  Make a donation to the Catholic Charities Summer Hunger Campaign. Your name will be written on a “special plate at our table.”  This virtual table will represent all of the gracious donors who provide help and hope to those who might otherwise go hungry.  You can give online using the green button, or you may also mail a check, and write “Summer Hunger” in the memo line to:
    Catholic Charities  /  144 West Wood Street  /  Youngstown, OH 44503
    *All funds collected will be used to fight hunger in your community. Catholic Charities’ agencies maintain on-site pantries to help client families with food at the time of their appointment.
  3. JOIN  –  Sponsor a food drive at your church or workplace to help stock your local Catholic Charities pantry.  Pasta and pasta sauce, for example, make a simple yet filling meal that can be eaten “as is” or enhanced with meat, seasonal vegetables, or bread.  Other canned goods such as tuna, fruit, vegetables and peanut butter are great non-perishable pantry staples.
  4. JOIN – Join in prayer with other families in your community, in our country, and in our world who suffer from food insecurity and hunger on a daily basis. No person—let alone child—should go hungry when there are more than enough food resources to satisfy every person on the planet.
  5. JOIN – Catholic Charities’ is on Amazon Smile. The process is very simple.  Simply go to and enter Catholic Charities as your charitable organization.  When you join with thousands of other Amazon shoppers, the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.05% of the purchase price from your eligible Amazon Smile purchases back to our Summer Hunger campaign.
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