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FIND Food Bank keeps bellies full with Kids Summer Club Program

The desert’s regional food bank: FIND Food Bank helps feed up to 85,000 people every month. Many of those children.

With the help of local schools, FIND helps keep bellies full all year long. This summer, FIND held their Kids Summer Club Program.

News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay spoke with FIND and a local principal to see how this program impacts the community.

When you think of a kids summer club program you think of arts and crafts, fun in the sun and plenty of games to keep kids busy during the summer months. While summer programs like this exist, there is one that serves a more serious cause, and that cause is fighting hunger.

“The goal of the Kids Summer Club is to give them access to food and not only something that will fill their bellies for the day but something they can take home with them and provide food for their families as well,” Director of community impact for FIND Food Bank, Lorena Marroquin told News Channel 3.

This program has been around for nine years. Eric Antuna, Principal of Agua Caliente Elementary School is now a part of that legacy.

“We do have a lot of families that take advantage of the program,” Antuna said.

This summer, there were 42 food distribution sites and an estimated of 5,000 children served each week. At Agua Caliente Elementary, the highest amount of people served this summer was 951, of that 466 were children.

“What’s really great is having those 466 children being served. In our school, there are about 570 kids so we are getting a really really high number of kids. Again, it’s a need but we are getting food right to them,” Antuna shared.

With a first come first serve style, some families showed up an hour early to make sure they were served.

“FIND has an excellent system,” Antuna said. “They bring volunteers. We bring volunteers. We are lucky to have this brand new building here and space that’s perfect for the truck to pull up. They unload the food. Our families line up,” he said.

The help doesn’t stop now that school is back in session. The work of FIND Food Bank continues all year long.

“For us, it’s important that kids have access to food throughout the whole year,” Marroquin said.

FIND has eight kids farmers markets that last throughout the school year starting in September.

“To provide a program like this, not only during the school year but also during the summer and seeing the impact that it has on the families and how grateful they are to receive this benefit and to be able to provide that, I think is awesome,” she added.

For more information on FIND Food Bank, visit their website here.

KESQ News Team

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