Every child deserves to have a happy summer with the food they need to thrive.

In Caroline County, Md, like in many parts of the country, summer can be the hungriest time of the year. But this close-knit community has come together to ensure every kid has healthy meals during the summer.

With your support, No Kid Hungry is helping these communities with funding, technical assistance and ensuring all families know that all kids 18 and under are eligible for free summer meals, no questions asked.

In Caroline County, we have supported them with essential equipment like a van, coolers and storage units to deliver these summer meals and equipment and technical support to create their farm to school program.

Watch how Caroline County is bringing food and hope to their community

We definitely know that we have a big need when it comes to feeding the kids of our county. We are a food-insecure county. People work very hard for what they have, but there's definitely a need.

Sam FigueroaFood Operations Manager Caroline County Public Schools

Caroline County is a working class community that looks after each other. But lack of economic opportunity has led to many children experiencing hunger. “40% of county residents live below the poverty line and 56% of county students qualify for free meals at school.


And summer can be an even more difficult time for families. During the school year, children rely on school meals, but when summer vacation comes, many of these meals disappear. It’s even more challenging in rural counties where families have to drive miles to find the closest supermarket, and that’s if they have access to reliable transportation in the first place.

Penny Davis babysits her 6 grandchildren during the summer. She goes above and beyond to ensure they have a happy summer.

Penny loves her grandkids and wants them to have the meals they need to thrive. But being on a limited income and without a car to drive to the supermarket means it’s hard for her to provide for them.

“If the yellow school bus didn't come to Caroline County here, I wouldn't get none of the meals. I have no transportation at all.”

With funding from No Kid Hungry, Caroline County Public Schools and the community are there to make sure Penny’s grandchildren and all kids in the county have free meals this summer.

See the heroes that are stepping up for kids in Caroline County

“We're here to feed the children. We love it”

During the school year, cafeteria staff is there for the kids; they get to know them and their needs. They understand that summer can be difficult for many of them. 

So they step up for children during this time of need. All summer long, they start before dawn, cooking and packing summer meals for kids in the community, while also working ahead of schedule preparing and freezing fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms to serve when school is back in session.

With No Kid Hungry’s funding, the district purchased essential equipment to package and store these meals and a van to transport them to kids in the community.

They’re superwomen, what can I say?

Beth Brewster, food service director

Going from our farm to your table to the kids' tables is very important to us, especially in our town... there's a big need for food. There's a lot of hungry people, a lot of families, a lot of children

farmer Eddie Simmons from Clayton Farms

Farmers like Simmons see hunger in their communities during the summer months. They know they have the power to make a difference.

The school district has partnered with local farms to ensure kids have access healthy local produce. With support from No Kid Hungry, the district has created an innovative farm to cafeteria model. Farmers sell affordable produce to the district that then gets used in summer meals and in cafeterias during the school year. Families can also purchase affordable produce in the van that brings meals to the kids.

Amber and Ashley normally work in the cafeteria during the school year. They know the kids, and as single moms, they understand what it’s like to struggle to get the meals you need.

In the summer, they step away from the cafeteria and drive the truck that brings free meals and affordable fresh produce to families all over the county. They go around, honking the horns of a No Kid Hungry sponsored van, bringing a smile and a meal to their kids they love.

Sam Figueroa and Beth Brewster credit their staff with all the success reaching kids during the summer, but they are the masterminds behind the efficient model of summer meals in Caroline County. 

For Brewster, this is more than just a job. She says that even if she won the lottery, she would continue doing the same because there is so much to be done. 

With their leadership, Brewster and Figueroa are delivering meals to hundreds of kids in the summer, creating a weekend backpack program, partnering with local farms to serve local produce in the cafeteria, engaging the local migrant communities to better meet their needs and partnering with local libraries to serve meals. But they don’t want to stop there.

“We really have a need. How do we address that need in our community? I'm hopeful that, at some point, we don't have to do care packs for weekend food for our kids. I'm hopeful that our families can be economically independent, that they can have their food security.

Beth Brewster

The journey to end childhood hunger in Caroline County continues and every year, Brewster and Figueroa get a step closer to ensure kids in their community have all the meals they need.

No Kid Hungry is honored to have a strong partnership with Brewster and Figueroa to make no kid hungry a reality in their county. 

What you can do to help?

With your support, Nathan and all of Penny’s grandchildren are getting the meals they need this summer. But still 1 in 6 children in the US are living with hunger and summer puts even more kids at risk. You can make a difference in their lives today.

Donate. Just $10 can help provide up to 100 meals for hungry kids. No Kid Hungry works with schools, community organizations and local leaders across the country to connect kids to the food they need. Your generous donations will help end summer hunger for kids across the country.

Spread the Word. With so many sites closing this year, many families will need help accessing information on where to find local summer meals sites for their kids. No Kid Hungry is operating a texting service to help. Families and community leaders can text ‘FOOD’ or ‘COMIDA’ to 304-304 for information. Meals are available for ALL kids 18 and under, no questions asked and no registration required.

    Nathan and Penny

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